Disclosed are chemically active surfaces for the detection of nitroaromatic, nitramine, and nitrate ester compounds, the primary constituents of explosive devices. Transparent conductive composites (TCCs) combine with gold nanoparticles in a conducting polymer matrix to create a conductive, flexible, and electrochromic material. Hybrid, nanostructured surfaces constructed from TCCs are decorated with conjugated conductive oligomer wires. Selective binding of the target to the oligomer alters the electron charge mobility in the TCC, affecting the redox state. The binding event is identified by measuring the conductivity of the TCC and/or through color changes of the TCC. Conjugated oligomers that are functionalized with thiol groups at one end and nitro-derivative receptors at the other provide the bases for selectivity and sensing. The thiol group anchors the oligomer to the metal sites on the TCC surface and the receptor starts the charge transfer mechanism when targeted with the appropriate molecule.
Alcantar, Norma A. and Harmon, Julie, "Transparent conducting composites (TTCs) for creating chemically active surfaces" (2011). USF Patents. 436.
University of South Florida