We propose a new concept “silicone optical technology (SOT)”, with low noise and simple integration of all optical components, and use a common matrix of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) as a prototype for rapid digital fabrication. This work involves the rapid design and fabrication of SOT optical modules designed to be coupled with a flow injection analysis system (SOT-FIA module), and their use in combination with a handheld photo absorbance meter “picoExplorer™” is also demonstrated. A digital fabrication method, by casting PDMS on the three-dimensional printed mold/frame, is developed. A simple structure of transparent PDMS mixed with the white pigment of titanium dioxide (TiO2) rutile particle (W-PDMS) optical core with a cladding of carbon black dispersed PDMS (K-PDMS) is fabricated. This structure performs as a tiny and straightforward optical filter and shows the ability to trap tilted incident light. The addition of the white pigment into PDMS results in a special enhancement of the optical sensitivity by increasing the amount of scattered light. This module is directly mounted on a white light emitting diode (LED) and the red-green-blue (RGB) sensor device from the picoExplorer at 45° to the flow channel to increase the detection length. The optical properties of the SOT-FIA module, which arise from the presence of white PDMS (W-PDMS) and the effect of the detection length, are investigated and show a dramatically enhanced sensitivity (30–45 times) of the optical detection compared with the calculation using Beer-Lambert's law. Moreover, lower than 1% of crosstalk is observed, which indicates the low noise level detection of the proposed SOT-FIA optical device. This proposed SOT-FIA module integrated with an LED detection system is developed to be combined with a flow injection analysis system for the colorimetric detection of iron in drinkable tap water samples. The results show excellent linearity, the ability for a wide range of chemical analysis, low detection limit, high percentage recovery, high precision and good agreement with the conventional spectrophotometric method. Furthermore, the tilted and tilt-shifted coupling alignments are newly developed and evaluated.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry