In this work, we first report the application of fluorescent polymer brushes film as a device for ultrasensitive
and selective detection of TNT. As positively charged fluorescent molecules of quaternary ammonium
tetraphenylethylene derivatives (d-TPE) were self-assembled on the brushes of poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) by
coulomb forces, we obtained a novel fluorescent polymer brushes film with excellent photoluminescent
properties, and the emission could be quantitatively and sensitively responsive to 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene
(TNT) due to the electron transfer between d-TPE and TNT. The limit of detection of TNT was
established to be 0.1 ppb in water. The fluorescent device could also be used repeatedly for TNT
detection, which indicated a promising application in trace explosive detection.