The development of novel molecular sieves opens opportunities in the development of more sensitive analytical devices. In this paper, metal organic frameworks (MOFs), specifically ZIF-8 and ZIF-93, are grown on fiber optic based surface plasmon resonance (FO-SPR) sensors. FO-SPR has enabled sensitive sensing capabilities in biomedical settings and the addition of a MOF coating opens the way for the sensing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in gaseous media. FO-SPR probes were homogeneously functionalized with ZIF-8 and ZIF-93 in each case using two different precursor solutions to obtain a sequential nucleation and growth phase. The difference in MOF nucleation and growth kinetics of the two solutions was directly monitored by the FO-SPR system. The two established MOF-FO-SPR sensors were then subjected to sensing experiments with several alcohol vapors to establish their sensing capabilities. Vapors with mPa partial pressures, ppm concentrations, could successfully be detected, e.g. an LOD of 2.5 ppm for methanol detection was acquired. The difference in recognition behavior of the hydrophobic ZIF-8 and more hydrophilic ZIF-93 recognition layers can be exploited to yield qualitative info regarding the vapor composition.
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