Evaluation of the performance of sensors based on optical imaging of a chemically sensitive layer

Natale, Corrado; Santonico, Marco; Paolesse, Roberto; Filippini, Daniel; D�Amico, Arnaldo; Lundstr�m, Ingemar
May 2010
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;May2010, Vol. 397 Issue 2, p613
Academic Journal
Interest in the use of the optical properties of chemical indicators is growing steadily. Among the optical methods that can be used to capture changes in sensing layers, those producing images of large-area devices are particularly interesting for chemical sensor array development. Until now, few studies addressed the characterization of image sensors from the point of view of their chemical sensor application. In this paper, a method to evaluate such performance is proposed. It is based on the simultaneous measurement of absorption events in a metalloporphyrin layer with an image sensor and a quartz microbalance (QMB). Exploiting the well-known behaviour of QMB, comparison of signals enables estimation of the minimum amount of absorbed molecules that the image sensor can detect. Results indicate that at the single pixel level a standard image sensor (for example a webcam) can easily detect femtomoles of absorbed molecules. It should therefore be possible to design sensor arrays in which the pixels of images of large-area sensing layers are regarded as individual chemical sensors providing a ready and simple method for large sensor array development.


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