In our work we investigate the fabrication and properties of ultraviolet-sensing films based on hybrid nanomaterials containing highly conductive graphene nanoplatelets (GNP) and DNA as biological UV-sensitive element. Using sonication processes in suitable solvents, the sensor components are assembled into non-covalent complexes which are then embedded in a polymer matrix to improve the film adhesion on several types of space-grade materials and structures. DNA strands are used for the assembly of the nanomaterial-based sensors due to the real-time sensitivity of nucleic acids to UV exposure, in particular to the most energetic UV-C band. At the same time, DNA molecules are efficient solubilizing agents for the highly hydrophobic graphene nanoparticles, ensuring a good stability of the GNP dispersions without modifying the electrical and chemical properties of the nanoparticles. Several techniques (electrical impedance spectroscopy, electrical resistance tomography, SEM microscopy, optical contact angle for surface wettability) are used for the characterization of the hybrid films before and after UV-C irradiation. We show that these nanomaterial sensing films are potentially useful to monitor the effects of UV radiation exposure in real time. Possible applications include monitoring the effects of solar UV radiation in space environment, where the UV-C component adversely affects performance of spacecraft components and represents a critical risk for human extra-vehicular activities (EVA). In this context, the use of miniaturized and light-weight sensor devices is an essential requirement for the mission outcome.

Smart nanomaterial-based hybrid films for sensing UV radiation damage in space environment

Toto Elisa;Clausi Marialaura;Laurenzi Susanna;Santonicola Mariagabriella
2017

Abstract

In our work we investigate the fabrication and properties of ultraviolet-sensing films based on hybrid nanomaterials containing highly conductive graphene nanoplatelets (GNP) and DNA as biological UV-sensitive element. Using sonication processes in suitable solvents, the sensor components are assembled into non-covalent complexes which are then embedded in a polymer matrix to improve the film adhesion on several types of space-grade materials and structures. DNA strands are used for the assembly of the nanomaterial-based sensors due to the real-time sensitivity of nucleic acids to UV exposure, in particular to the most energetic UV-C band. At the same time, DNA molecules are efficient solubilizing agents for the highly hydrophobic graphene nanoparticles, ensuring a good stability of the GNP dispersions without modifying the electrical and chemical properties of the nanoparticles. Several techniques (electrical impedance spectroscopy, electrical resistance tomography, SEM microscopy, optical contact angle for surface wettability) are used for the characterization of the hybrid films before and after UV-C irradiation. We show that these nanomaterial sensing films are potentially useful to monitor the effects of UV radiation exposure in real time. Possible applications include monitoring the effects of solar UV radiation in space environment, where the UV-C component adversely affects performance of spacecraft components and represents a critical risk for human extra-vehicular activities (EVA). In this context, the use of miniaturized and light-weight sensor devices is an essential requirement for the mission outcome.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1016642
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