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Microcantilever arrays functionalised with spiropyran photoactive moieties as systems to measure photo-induced surface stress changes


Catherine Grogan, Larisa Florea, Slavica Koprivica, Silvia Scarmagnani, Luke O’Neill, Fiona Lyng, Fran Pedreschi, Fernando Benito-Lopez, Roberto Raiteri

Publication Type: 
Refereed Original Article
Herein we investigate the feasibility of detecting photo-induced surface stress changes using the deflection response of cantilevers. For this purpose, silicon microcantilevers have been functionalised with spiropyran photochromic molecules, using both a monolayer and a polymeric brushes approach. Upon ultraviolet light irradiation, the spiropyran unit is converted to the merocyanine form due to the photo-induced cleavage of the Cspiro-O bond. The two forms of the molecule have dramatically different charge, polarity and molecular conformations. This makes spiropyrans an ideal system to study the correlation between photo-induced molecular changes and corresponding changes in surface stress. Our investigations include monitoring the changes in static cantilever deflection, and consequently, surface stress of the spiropyran functionalised cantilevers on exposure to ultraviolet light. Cantilever deflection data reveals that ultraviolet induced conformational changes in the spiropyran moiety cause a change in compressive surface 2 stress and this varies with the type of functionalisation method implemented. The change in surface stress response from the spiropyran polymer brushes functionalised cantilevers gives an average surface stress change of 98 Nm-1 (n = 8) while the spiropyran monolayer coated cantilevers have an average surface stress change of about 446 Nm-1 (n = 24) upon irradiation with UV light.
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): 
Publication Status: 
Date Accepted for Publication: 
Friday, 1 July, 2016
Publication Date: 
Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical
Research Group: 
Dublin City University (DCU)
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