Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) are promising materials to realize chemical sensors. However, achieving high sensitivities requires the reproducible deposition of well-defined MOF films and their integration with a suitable sensor design.
In this work, we report the sensitive detection of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by transducing the adsorption in zeolitic imidazolate framework 8 (ZIF-8) thin films, prepared by chemical vapor deposition, into surface plasmon polariton shifts measured via total internal reflection ellipsometry. SPP resonances tunable over the entire Vis–NIR range and as sharp as 14 nm are obtained for optimized synthesis conditions. Record-breaking shifts stronger than 150 nm upon methanol uptake and a limit of detection below 1 ppm are observed.