A new odorant detection scheme, based on infrared absorption of volatile organics inside an optofluidic channel array, is discussed in terms of its selectivity. The sensor unit of the array is a hollow core Bragg fiber that selectively (spectrally) guides an incident continuum radiation. The presence of infrared absorbing molecules in the channel results in the quenching of the otherwise transmitted signal. Each fiber unit in the array is designed and fabricated so that it is sensitive to specific chemical bonds and the bond environment, but at the same time, each fiber is also broadly sensitive to a large number of chemicals due to their infrared absorbance spectra. The cumulative array response data, using an appropriate threshold, enable selective binary sampling of the infrared fingerprint of hundreds of molecules. The selectivity of the system is quantitatively investigated with computer simulations and found to be exponentially increasing with the number of fibers in the array. Relatively simple data analysis using binary logic combined with the high selectivity of the novel scheme paves the way for ubiquitous application of electronic noses in toxic gas detection, food quality control, environmental monitoring, and breath analysis for disease diagnostics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry