Conjugated polymers for the elaboration of optical and ohmic sensors for water monitoring

Abstract : Different pollutants can be found in water, inorganic material (chloride, chlorine, heavy metal ions…) and organic material (trace of medicament…). Among them, heavy metal ions are of among the most toxic for human and the environment. 
Analysis of water contaminants that are toxic for human being and aquatic life is of primary importance. Especially, the measurements of the quality of drinking water delivered in private dwelling is a significant public health concern. A family of undesired contaminants is heavy metals. An elevated concentration of metal ions in water is mostly due to an intensive human activity (industry, farming, and housing). In small quantities, certain heavy metals (e.g., iron, copper, manganese, and zinc) are nutritionally essential for a healthy life. However, heavy metals show a great trend to form complexes, especially with ligands of biological matter containing nitrogen, sulfur, and oxygen. As a result, changes in the molecular structure of proteins, breaking of hydrogen bonds, or inhibition of enzymes can occur[1]. These interactions, among others, may explain the toxicological and carcinogenic effects of heavy metals. These ions can cause damages to many organs and are responsible of diseases, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases[2-6]{Liu, 2015 #101;Liu, 2015 #101;Kim, 2012 #102;Kim, 2012 #102;Liu, 2015 #101;Kim, 2012 #102;Liu, 2015 #101;Kim, 2012 #102;Liu, 2015 #101}. Respiratory and cardiac problems can be caused by nickel ingestion[7], and accumulation of the Ni2+ ion in the body leads to oxidative stress[8]; Ni2+ and Cu2+ are also noxious to teeth and bones. These negative effects result from the formation of coordination complexes between the metal ions and biological matter.Heavy metals are not biodegradable and therefore they remain in ecological systems and in the food chain indefinitely, exposing top-level predators to very high levels of pollution.Different methods are used to determine their quantity concentration in aqueous phase such as anodic stripping voltammetry (ASV) [4, 6], solid phase extraction combined with inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry ICP-OES[4, 6] and cold-vapor atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) method[9]. These methods are well established, but are costly, time consuming, lack portability, and rely on trained personnel because of their complexity[10].Therefore, cheap, portable and real-time response real-time sensors for the determination of heavy metals in aqueous solutions are needed, particularly in sensitive environments, such as drinking water and industrial wastewater effluents. Here we design and elaborate The aim of the project is to develop these kinds of sensors to satisfy the current need. Two kinds of sensors have been elaborated in the project: the first one is optical sensors based on functionalized conjugated polymers (CPs). The second one is a communicating resistive sensors based on conjugated polymers (CPs)/carbon nanotubes (CNTs) nanohybride for the quick detection of pollutants in aqueous water. To our knowledge, no this kind of resistive of sensors has been developed yet. The start of the project focuses onWe start the project for the detection of metal ions, however, it can later be extended to other kinds of pollutants (such as nitrate, chloride, even drugs) using different polymers with the same working mechanism.
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Xinyang Wang. Conjugated polymers for the elaboration of optical and ohmic sensors for water monitoring. Material chemistry. Université Paris-Saclay, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018SACLX078⟩. ⟨tel-02087298⟩

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