Trace Ammonia Sensors Based on Fluorescent Near-Infrared-Emitting aza-BODIPY Dyes

Martin Strobl, Anna Walcher, Torsten Mayr, Ingo Klimant, Sergey M. Borisov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Highly sensitive ammonia sensors for environmental monitoring are presented. The sensing materials are based on fluorescent BF2-chelated tetraarylazadipyrromethene dyes (aza-BODIPYs) dyes physically entrapped in polyurethane hydrogels and dispersed in silicone rubber. This layer is covered by a hydrophobic porous Teflon membrane used as an additional proton barrier and light scattering layer. The dual-lifetime referenced (DLR) sensors make use of near-infrared (NIR)-emitting Egyptian blue as a reference material and in combination with optical fibers are read-out via a compact phase-fluorometer. The detectable concentration range can be tuned by the choice of aza-BODIPY dye or/and the hydrogel matrix. The most sensitive sensor has a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.11 μg/L and the upper detectable concentration of 300 μg/L. No cross-sensitivity toward pH is observed. The sensors show remarkable operational stability with no noticeable drift over a period of 2 weeks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2859-2865
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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