Elastic FRET sensors for contactless pressure measurement
Contactless pressure monitoring based on Forster resonance energy transfer between donor/acceptor pairs immobilized within elastomers is demonstrated. The donor/acceptor energy transfer is employed by dispersing terbium(III) tris[(2-hydroxybenzoyl)-2-aminoethyl] amine complex (LLC, donor) and CdSe/ZnS quantum dots (QD655, acceptor) in styrene-ethylene/buthylene-styrene (SEBS) and poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS). The continuous monitoring of QD luminescence showed a reversible intensity change as the pressure signal is alternated between two stable states indicating a pressure sensitivity of 6350 cps kPa(-1). Time-resolved measurements show the pressure impact on the FRET signal due to an increase of decay time (270 ms up to 420 ms) for the donor signal and parallel drop of decay time (170 mu s to 155 mu s) for the acceptor signal as the net pressure applied. The LLC/QD655 sensors enable a contactless readout as well as space resolved monitoring to enable miniaturization towards smaller integrated stretchable opto-electronics. Elastic FRET sensors can potentially lead to developing profitable analysis systems capable to outdo conventional wired electronic systems (inductive, capacitive, ultrasonic and photoelectric sensors) especially for point-of-care diagnostics, biological monitoring required for wearable electronics.