Optical Acetone Vapor Sensors Based on Chiral Nematic Liquid Crystals and Reactive Chiral Dopants

Pascal Cachelin, Joshua P. Green, Ton Peijs, Martin Heeney, Cees W.M. Bastiaansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Accurate monitoring of exposure to organic vapors, such as acetone, is an important part of maintaining a safe working environment and adhering to long- and short-term exposure limits. Here, a novel acetone vapor detection system is described based on the use of a reactive chiral dopant in a nematic liquid crystal thin film, which can accurately monitor the total exposure over a given time frame through changes in the reflection band of the film. It is found that films exposed to 1000 parts per million by volume (ppmv) of acetone vapor for 2 h exhibit a shift in reflection band of 12 nm, with smaller shifts observed at lower concentrations of acetone. Such sensors have potential applications in industrial hygiene. A novel sensor based on a chiral nematic liquid crystal doped with a reactive dopant is fabricated and investigated. It is found that the sensor acts as a real-time integrator, responding to the total acetone dose by changing the wavelength of the reflection maximum of the chiral nematic liquid crystal. The sensitivity and cross-sensitivity of the sensor are investigated.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)592-596
Number of pages5
JournalAdvanced Optical Materials
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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