Bio- and Environmental Sensing based on Organic Optoelectronics

The integration of organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) and organic photodetectors (OPDs) promises compact and low-cost hybrid integrated sensors for optical detection. The thermal evaporation-based device fabrication technique allows for all optical sensing elements being permanently aligned with a high degree of miniaturization, creating more portable, energy-efficient and multiplexing-capable devices; these may be easily combined with microfluidic units resulting in a minimal sample and reagent volume demand of the sensor. This dissertation deals in particular with the system design, development, characterization and deployment of a monolithic integrated sensor unit with 8 OLED and 8 OPD pixel pairs for different applications. The following work provides an extensive study of the system efficiency via ray tracing simulations, investigating crucial boundary conditions for efficient analyte detection. The proposed sensing unit contains OLED and OPD devices with an individual pixel size of 0.5mm × 0.5mm fabricated on a 12.5mm × 12.5mm glass substrate. The developed sensor system was successfully characterized and applied in a biosensing application by detecting fluorescence labelled single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) after forming the Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) upon the hybridization of two ssDNA strands. This optoelectronic sensor has the potential to enable compact and low-cost fluorescence point-of-care (POC) devices for decentralised multiplex biomedical testing. Additionally, this sensing platform was deployed in environmental and agricultural applications to detect nutrients such as nitrite and nitrate. In this colorimetric application the popular Griess reaction was utilized to form the nitrite concentration dependent amount of azo dye, which absorbs light around 540nm.


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