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Further Investigations on a Poly(vinyl alcohol) Polyelectrolyte Chemically Selective Optical Film

Volume 58, Number 5 (May 2004) Page 608-612

Paddock, Jean R.; Zudans, Imants; Heineman, William R.; Seliskar, Carl J.


The ionomer poly(vinylbenzyltrimethylammonium chloride) has been blended with cross-linked poly(vinyl alcohol) to form optically clear composites that can be covalently linked as thin films to oxide surfaces. Films are characterized using spectroscopic ellipsometry with refractive index (n) and extinction coefficient (k) data presented for wavelengths 300 to 1100 nm. A refractive index of 1.54 and average thickness of 709 nm are typical of an air dry film prepared by spin-coating. Dynamic in situ ellipsometry results for films exposed to 0.1 M KNO3 and 1.0 mM Fe(CN)6-3 are presented. Upon initial exposure to 0.1 M KNO3, an air dry film expands by about 160% and stabilizes in size and refractive index at about 18 hours. Ion exchange of film cationic groups with ferricyanide is marked by slight film contraction, presumably due to electrostatic cross-linking by the multivalent anion. These films are useful in the spectroelectrochemical sensor with our newly developed fluorescence detection mode, as demonstrated by results of the reversible incorporation of the fluorescent anion fluorescein.