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22 December 2015 Relative humidity sensing using dye-doped polymer thin-films on metal substrates
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We demonstrate humidity sensors based on optical resonances sustained in sub-wavelength thick dye-doped polymer coatings on reflecting surfaces. As a result of coupling between dye molecular absorption and Fabry-Perot resonances in the air-coating-surface cavity, the absorption spectra of such thin-film structures show a strong resonant peak under certain illumination conditions. These resonances are sensitive to the structural and material properties of the thin-film, metal underlayer and ambient conditions and hence can be used for gas and vapor sensing applications. Specifically, we present our proof of principle experimental results for humidity sensing using a thin-film structure comprising Rhodamine6G-doped polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) films on silver substrates. Depending on the PVA film thickness, dye-concertation and angle of incidence, the resonant absorption peak can undergo either red-shift or blue-shift as RH level increases in the range 20% to 60%. Also, the absorption magnitude at certain wavelengths near to resonance show almost linear reduction which can be used as the sensing signal. Our simulation studies show a very good agreement with the experimental data. The spectral and temporal sensitivity of this thin-film structure is attributed to the changes in the thickness of the PVA layer which swells by absorbing water molecules
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Madhuri Kumari, Boyang Ding, and Richard Blaikie "Relative humidity sensing using dye-doped polymer thin-films on metal substrates", Proc. SPIE 9668, Micro+Nano Materials, Devices, and Systems, 96680T (22 December 2015);

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