To synthesize photonic films without a chiral dopant, a predesigned multiple photopolymerization process was carried out. The photonic films were prepared by the photopolymerization of a mixture of chiral nematic liquid crystals. After polymerization, the chiral dopant, CB15, was removed and recycled. The imprinted photonic polymer films showed Bragg reflection without the presence of the chiral dopant. Upon the sensing of solvents in aqueous solution, significant color changes and peak shifts were observed by the naked eye and ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy, respectively. A linear calibration curve between the central wavelength of the reflection band of the fabricated imprinting film and the volume ratio of 1,4-dioxane in water was observed. Furthermore, the sensing of chloroform content in methanol, ethanol, and acetone via the imprinted film were also investigated. The results suggest that the synthesized imprinted photonic films can detect different kinds of mixed solvents. The sensing properties of the photonic films were further improved by copolymerization with a rhodamine-derived monomer. The synthesized modified photonic films can detect heavy metal ions in aqueous solution. This study reports a novel, recyclable, and easy approach to detect organic solvents and copper ions in aqueous solution.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry