Abstract: Mercury Sensing with Doped Conjugated Polymer Nanoparticles

Hi Everyone!

My name is Sumaia Tabassum, and I am a rising junior. I am majoring in chemistry and I will be working in Dr. Harbron’s Organic Chemistry lab this summer. Our project has been ongoing for several years through the hands of various student faculty collaborations. They developed fluorescent nanoparticles that could detect mercury in water at concentrations as low as 0.7 parts per billion (ppb).  Created from conjugated polymers, these nanoparticles are small, stably suspended in water, and highly fluorescent in the green-yellow region of the spectrum (Childress and Roberts, 2012).  These nanoparticles can be doped with mercury-responsive dye molecules.  These dyes are non-fluorescent until  they come in contact with mercury, which transforms them into red-fluorescent dyes that quench the fluorescence of the nanoparticles by a mechanism called Fluorescence Resonance Energy.

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