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Nanostructured thin films based on phthalocyanines: electrochromic displays and sensors
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Journal of Porphyrins and phthalocyanines vol. 13 p. 606-615
The group of the University of Valladolid is a multidisciplinary team formed by chemists, physicists and engineers. The activities of the group are focused to the study of the physicochemical properties of nanostructured Langmuir-Blodgett thin films based on phthalocyanines and their applications. Films of a variety of phthalocyanine molecules including several metallophthalocyanines, lanthanide double decker phthalocyanines and heteroleptic derivatives have been prepared. Their spectroelectrochemical properties have been described in detail and compared with those observed in disordered casted films or microcrystalline evaporated films. The group has dedicated special attention to films based on rare earth double decker compounds due to their unique semiconducting, optical and electrochemical properties. A rich electrochromism has been demonstrated in thin films of this family of compounds. The reversibility is improved in nanostructured Langmuir-Blodgett films. This has permitted development of an electrochromic display that can change its color from blue to green and finally to red. At the present moment, our main objective is the design of sensors able to detect gases and liquids. It has been demonstrated that thin film assemblies based on rare earth bisphthalocyanines modify their conductivity and their optical properties in the presence of electron donor or electron acceptors gases. Changes are also observed when the devices are exposed to Volatile Organic Compounds such as esters, alcohols or aldehydes which are responsible of odors in foods and beverages. Liquid sensors have also been developed. Their working principle is based in the fact that the rich electrochemical properties of phthalocyanine thin films are extremely sensitive to the nature of the electrolytic solution. Arrays of phthalocyanines have been used to construct an electronic nose able to discriminate odors from a variety of foods and beverages. Similarly, phthalocyanines have also been used to construct an electronic tongue based on voltammetric sensors. This is one of the main contributions of the group to the field of sensors.
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