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Characterisation and optical vapour sensing properties of PMMA thin films

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The present article reports on the characterisation of spin coated thin films of poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) for their use in organic vapour sensing application. Thin film properties of PMMA are studied by UV-visible spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) technique. Results obtained show that homogeneous thin films with thickness in the range between 6 and 15 nm have been successfully prepared when films were spun at speeds between 1000-5000 rpm. Using SPR technique, the sensing properties of the spun films were studied on exposures to several halohydrocarbons including chloroform, dichloromethane and trichloroethylene. Data from measured kinetic response have been used to evaluate the sensitivity of the studied films to the various analyte molecules in terms of normalised response (%) per unit concentration (ppm). The highest PMMA film sensitivity of 0.067 normalised response per ppm was observed for chloroform vapour, for films spun at 1000 rpm. The high film's sensitivity to chloroform vapour was ascribed mainly to its solubility parameter and molar volume Values. Effect of film thickness on the vapour sensing properties is also discussed. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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