Multiscale Humidity Visualization by Environmentally Sensitive Fluorescent Molecular Rotors.

Research paper by Yanhua Y Cheng, Jianguo J Wang, Zijie Z Qiu, Xiaoyan X Zheng, Nelson L C NLC Leung, Jacky W Y JWY Lam, Ben Zhong BZ Tang

Indexed on: 19 Oct '17Published on: 19 Oct '17Published in: Advanced Materials


Building humidity sensors possessing the features of diverse-configuration compatibility, and capability of measurement of spatial and temporal humidity gradients is of great interest for highly integrated electronics and wearable monitoring systems. Herein, a visual sensing approach based on fluorescent imaging is presented, by assembling aggregation-induced-emission (AIE)-active molecular rotors into a moisture-captured network; the resulting AIE humidity sensors are compatible with diverse applications, having tunable geometries and desirable architectures. The invisible information of relative humidity (RH) is transformed into different fluorescence colors that enable direct observation by the naked eyes based on the twisted intramolecular charge-transfer effect of the AIE-active molecular rotors. The resulting AIE humidity sensors show excellent performance in terms of good sensitivity, precise quantitative measurement, high spatial-temporal resolution, and fast response/recovery time. Their multiscale applications, such as regional environmental RH detection, internal humidity mapping, and sensitive human-body humidity sensing are demonstrated. The proposed humidity visualization strategy may provide a new insight to develop humidity sensors for various applications.