Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UC research produces novel sensor with improved detection selectivity

24.03.2011
A highly sensitive sensor that combines a variety of testing means (electrochemistry, spectroscopy and selective partitioning) into one device has been developed at the University of Cincinnati. It's already been tested in a variety of settings – including testing for components in nuclear waste.

The sensor is unusual in that most sensors only have one or two modes of selectivity, while this sensor has three. In practical terms, that means the UC sensor has three different ways to find and identify a compound of interest. That's important because settings like a nuclear waste storage tank are a jumbled mix of chemical and radioactive wastes. The sensor, however, would have a variety of applications, including testing in other environments and even medical applications.

Research related to this novel sensor will be presented at the American Chemical Society biannual meeting March 27-31 in Anaheim, Calif., in a presentation titled "Using Spectroelectrochemistry to Improve Sensor Selectivity."

That presentation will be made March 28 by William Heineman, distinguished research professor of chemistry at the University of Cincinnati. He is one of six international scientists invited to speak by electrochemistry students involved in planning a conference symposium. Heineman has published more than 400 research articles on the topics of spectroelectrochemistry, electroanalytical chemistry, bioanalytical chemistry and chemical sensors, and has won numerous national and international awards for his work.

BACKGROUND AND USES FOR THIS SENSOR RESEARCH

Research on this sensor concept began more than a decade ago and has received support from the United States Department of Energy for most of that time. "They wanted a sensor that can be lowered in a tank to make lots of measurements quickly or have the option of leaving it in there to monitor what's going on over months or a year," said Heineman, who added that the ideal sensor is both rugged and very selective and sensitive.

The sensor has, in fact, been tested at the Hanford site, a mostly decommissioned nuclear production complex in Washington state, where it was used to detect one important component of the radioactive and hazardous wastes stored inside the giant tanks there.

The basic design and concept for this monitor could be used in many other environmental or medical settings. These include detection of toxic heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons at superfund sites.

HOW IT WORKS

The three-way selectivity comes from the use of coatings, electrochemistry, and spectroscopy. The selective coating only allows certain compounds to enter the sensing region. For example, all negatively charged ions might be able to enter the sensor while all positively charged ions are excluded. Next comes the electrochemistry. A potential is applied, and an even smaller group of compounds are electrolyzed. Finally, a very specific wavelength of light is used to detect the actual compound of interest.

The end result is that compounds, even those present in very low concentrations, can be detected and analyzed. This is especially important in medical monitoring and other applications requiring high selectivity and sensitivity.

"Our goal in this research was to demonstrate that the concept works, and that goal has been met as it's now been tested in several ways. Maybe that's why the students at the ACS meeting wanted to hear about it," said UC's Heineman.

M.B. Reilly | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Molecular Force Sensors
20.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

nachricht Foster tadpoles trigger parental instinct in poison frogs
20.09.2017 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>