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Conjugated porous polymer that detects TNT vapor

Research Achievements

Conjugated porous polymer that detects TNT vapor

IGERT Fellow Jennifer Novotney investigated the importance of growth and activation conditions in optimizing the porosity and sensing performance of conjugated porous polymers. By changing the polymerization solvent from toluene to dimethylformamide, the response of a conjugated porous polymer to TNT vapor increased by a factor of two. Increases in polymer surface area through lyophilization also resulted in an increased sensitivity to TNT vapor. These findings have been published in ACS Macro Letters, where Novotney and her collaborators reported a conjugated porous polymer that detects TNT vapor. They also showed how growth and activation procedures strongly influence analyte response and introduced lyophilization as a gentle and convenient activation method that requires no specialized equipment. By studying different methods to optimize explosive sensing, she hopes to design materials with an increased sensitivity to explosive vapors.