Dip-in Indicators for Visual Differentiation of Fuel Mixtures Based on Wettability of Fluoroalkylchlorosilane-Coated Inverse Opal Films

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12387-12392
Journal / PublicationACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Volume7
Issue number51
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

We have developed the dip-in indicator based on the inverse opal film (IOF) for visual differentiation of organic liquid mixtures, such as oil/gasoline or ethanol/gasoline fuel mixtures. The IOF consists of a three-dimensional porousstructure with a highly ordered periodic arrangement of nanopores. The specularly reflected light at the interface of the nanopores and silica walls contributes to thestructural color of the IOF film. This color disappears when the nanopores are infiltrated by a liquid with a similar refractive index to silica. The disappearance of thestructural color provides a means to differentiate various liquid fuel mixtures based on their wettability of the nanopores in the IOF-based indicators. For differentiation of various liquid mixtures, we tune the wettability threshold of the indicator in such a way that it is wetted (color disappears) by one liquid but is not wetted by the other (color remains). Although colorimetric differentiation of liquids based on IOF wettability has been reported, differentiation of highly similar liquid mixtures require complicated readout approaches. It is known that the IOF wettability is controlled by multiple surface properties (e.g., oleophobicity) andstructural properties (e.g., neck angle and film thickness) of the nanostructure. Therefore, we aim to exploit the combined tuning of these properties for differentiation of fuel mixtures with close compositions. In thisstudy, we have demonstrated that, for the first time, the IOF-based dip-in indicator is able to detect a slight difference in the fuel mixture composition (i.e., 0.4% of oil content). Moreover, the color/no-color differentiation platform is simple, powerful, and easy-to-read. This platform makes the dip-in indicator a promising tool for authentication and determination of fuel composition at the point-of-purchase or point-of-use.

Research Area(s)

  • film thickness, fluoroalkylchlorosilane, fuel mixture, gasoline/ethanol, gasoline/oil, inverse opal films, neck angle, structural color

Bibliographic Note

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Citation Format(s)

Dip-in Indicators for Visual Differentiation of Fuel Mixtures Based on Wettability of Fluoroalkylchlorosilane-Coated Inverse Opal Films. / Sedighi, Abootaleb; Qiu, Shuang; Wong, Michael C. K; Li, Paul C. H.

In: ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, Vol. 7, No. 51, 30.12.2015, p. 12387-12392.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review