We present a simple chip-based refractometer with a central organic light-emitting diode (OLED) light source and two opposed organic photovoltaic (OPV) detectors on an internal reflection element (IRE) substrate, creating a true dual-beam sensor platform. For first-generation platforms, we demonstrate the use of a single heterojunction OLED based on electroluminescence from an Alq3/TPD heterojunction (tris-(8-hydroxyquinoline)aluminum/N,N'- bis(3-methylphenyl)-N,N'-diphenylbenzidine) and light detection with planar heterojunction pentacene/C60 OPVs. The sensor utilizes the considerable fraction of emitted light from conventional thin-film OLEDs that is coupled into guided modes in the IRE, instead of into the forward (display) direction. A ray-optics description is used to describe light throughput and efficiency-limiting factors for light coupling from the OLED into the substrate modes, light traversing through the IRE substrate, and light coupling into the OPV detectors. The arrangement of the OLED at the center of the chip provides for two sensing regions: a "sample" channel and a " reference" channel, with detection of light by independent OPV detectors. This configuration allows for normalization of the sensor response against fluctuations in OLED light output, stability, and local fluctuations (temperature) that might influence sensor response. The dual-beam configuration permits significantly enhanced sensitivity to refractive index changes, relative to singlebeam protocols, and is easily integrated into a fieldportable instrumentation package. Changes in refractive index (ΔRI) between 10 -2 and 10-3 RI units could be detected for single beam operation, with sensitivity increased to ΔRI ≈ 10-4 RI units when the dualbeam configuration is employed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry