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Design of a low-cost optical instrument for pH fluorescence measurements

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7 Author(s)
Martin, F.J.F. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Univ. of Oviedo, Gijon ; Rodriguez, J.C.C. ; Anton, J.C.A. ; Perez, J.C.V.
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This paper describes the electronic design and the performance of a low-cost fiber-optic instrument for pH fluorescent measurements. The chemical sensing phase consists of an organic pH indicator (mercurochrome) immobilized in a sol-gel matrix placed at the end of a fiber optic by means of a steel grid. The active phase was excited by means of a high-intensity blue light-emitting diode. The light signal was modulated to avoid external interference. Fluorescence emission is detected by a low-cost photodiode. To avoid drifts in excitation light emission intensity, a ratiometric measurement was proposed. To perform such measurements, two fiber-optic measurement channels were used. One of them was employed to measure only the pH indicator fluorescent emission intensity. The second channel was employed to measure only the intensity of the excitation light reflected by the sensing phase. The ratio between both signals is only proportional to pH and proved to be independent of excitation light intensity. The sensor is useful over the pH range of 4-8, providing highly reliable results

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Instrumentation and Measurement, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 4 )