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1.3 PHYSICAL SCIENCES
Environmental monitoring has been continuously increasing due to an emerging global emphasis on the importance of sustainable development. Improving water quality monitoring and control is a challenge that calls for innovative solutions. Current methods of water monitoring are costly and analytical techniques suitable for field use are limited. There is a need for accurate, long–term monitoring of environmental contaminants using sensors that can be operated on site. The aim of our research is to theoretically model, fabricate and characterise holographic sensors for water quality monitoring that are simple to operate, capable of sensing copper present in fresh water and have relatively low cost. The sensors are created by holographic recording of surface relief gratings (SRG) in a self-processing photopolymer material. Interrogation of these structures by light allows indirect measurements of ion concentration in real time. The SRG structures are modified by coating with porous LTL-nanoparticles (nanosized zeolites) which selectively adsorb copper ions. The suitability of the sensors for detection of copper (II) present in water at concentration levels 1–4 mM is reported. The current detection limit of the sensor is 63 ppm.
Cody, D., Gul, S.-E. & Kharchenko, A. (2017). LTL Type Nanozeolites Utilized in Surface Photonics Structures for Environmental Sensors. Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, vol. 261, pp. 268-274. doi:10.1016/j.micromeso.2017.11.019