Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

William B. Euler


In Chapter 1, Fluorescent enhancements have been achieved using a simple layered structure: fluorophore, polymer/metal ion, glass substrate. The polymer/metal ion layer apparently has a strong influence on the emission response of the fluorophore by removing the dye aggregation. This data supports that the addition of higher concentration of hydrated transition metal salt increases the production of β-phase in the Polyvinylidene Difluoride (PVDF). The absorption spectra intensity increased as the amount of Zn2+ is increased in the substrate while the Rhodamine 6G (Rh6G) thickness is kept constant. Investigation into the means of β-phase production and the influence of the interfacial region effect on the fluorescence enhancement was completed and reported in this work. The goal of this study is to understand the interfacial properties that control the nature of the fluorescent emission and determine the structure of the fluorophore on different substrates.

Chapter 2 of this dissertation shows an investigation of the role of the polymer substrate, the solvent and the reaction between Rh6G and Zn2+. Studying the reaction between Rh6G and Zn2+ was done on glass slides in the absence of polymer. In order to study the role of the solvent, films of PVDF doped with Zn2+ were cast from pure acetone. PVDF polymer was replaced by PMMA to evaluate the role of the polymer in the films.

The response of emission signal of TNT, as a function of Rhodamine 6G concentration and mol % of Zn2+ has been studied in Chapter 3. Using a different concentration of Rhodamine 6G and mol % of metal ion, the signal is quenched by a notably large amount. Different analytes can be applied and emission signals can be collected to find a pattern that could be used to identify the explosives.