Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University (https://tpu.ru/en) together with their colleagues from Czech Republic created new sensors for detecting substances in ultra-low concentrations. This statement was made by Tomsk Polytechnic University press-service on July 17, 2017. The researchers published their articles in Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical and ChemNanoMat Journals.
The created sensors are supposed to be used in Raman spectrometers. These devices are widely used in physical, chemical, and biological laboratories in detecting of structure and chemical properties of the material. Tomsk Polytechnic University searchers created special sensors that are able to detect some banned in Europe dyes and also some heavy metals in water even in ultra-low concentrations.
The basis of the sensor is a gold film. The surface of the film is developed by Czech scientists and is modified in such way that it has a wavy structure. Russian scientists treat this surface chemically using organic compounds.
'Due to this combination we got a possibility to detect, in particular, heavy metals in ultra-low concentrations. The sensitivity of sensors for colorant is 10-16 mole, and for heavy metals it is 10-14 mole,' Dr. Pavel Postnikov (Department of Technology of Organic Substances and Polymer Materials, Tomsk Polytechnic University) said.
'The process of analysis is very simple. We put a sensor in water, and molecules of toxic substances settle on the surface of the film. Then we take the sensor out and put it into a spectrometer, and so we have the information in two minutes,' Dr. Postnikov added.
According to the researchers, in the future such sensors could be used for rapid analysis of liquids in such branches as food industry, medicine, and ecology.