Design and Development of Heavy Metal Sensors Using Semi-Conductive, Chelating Polymers

Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies: Materials Science and Engineering


Materials Science and Engineering

Major Advisor

Dale D. Russell


A design for a class of sensors is demonstrated for the detection of uranyl and mercury ions. The basic design of the sensors involves the covalent attachment of chelating rings to a polythiophene "backbone". The chelating rings are chosen based upon their selectivity toward the analytes of interest. The che1ates examined in this study include 1,4,10 trioxa-7,13-diazacyclopentadecane and 4-Sulfonic calix[6]arene hydrate, which based upon their thermodynamic formation constants are selective towards mercury and uranyl ions respectively. In view of optimizing the performance and application of the sensors, thiophene and bithiophene are studied under several experimental conditions in order to better understand and further optimize the synthesis of the chelating polymers.

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