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Thiophene Compounds for Sensor Applications

Project Full Title:

The Preparation of Thiophene Compounds for Use as Electrochemical Sensors

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Project Description:

Dr. Sanford is will be on sabbatical during the Summer of 2022 and is not accepting students. Please contact her for the Fall of 2022 if interested in joining her research group. Thiophene compounds can be polymerized onto electrode surfaces to give highly conducting films for sensor applications. Our goal is to prepare a variety of functionalized thiophene monomers that can then be polymerized on electrodes by Dr. Brown’s group and then used as sensors. Examples of compounds currently under development are ferrocene functionalized thiophenes for use as glucose sensors, thiophenes functionalized with solvatochromic dyes for the development of polarity sensors and thiophene attached to metal chelating groups to sense heavy metals. Incoming students will be given a monomer or group of monomers that they will prepare through approximately 3-4 step synthetic sequences. The Brown group then investigates the electropolymerization and then new monomers are designed to address any needs that the electropolymerization reveals. A student will be responsible for the planning, execution and standard characterization of the materials with the support of the faculty mentor and the group members. The focus of this group is organic synthesis, so students should have had one year of organic chemistry lecture and lab. Once the compounds are made and characterized, the compounds will be tested for potential sensor applications. Students will present their research to the Department orally and at a regional undergraduate poster sessions and will be involved in preparing the work for publication when appropriate.

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