Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2012KY206B

Arsenic detection using quartz crystal microbalance

Institute: Kentucky
Year Established: 2012 Start Date: 2012-03-01 End Date: 2013-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $5,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $10,448

Principal Investigators: David Atwood

Abstract: The overall goal of the project is to develop a fully functional mobile arsenic detection sensor that is low cost, user friendly, and able to be monitored in remote locations by satellite technology. This envisioned sensor will be very similar to commercially available quartz crystal microbalance instruments that operate on the basis that a quartz crystal with a metallic electrode resonates at a certain predefined frequency (based on the substance that is oscillating). The oscillation frequency changes with interactions at the electrode and this change in frequency can be measured. In most work, the electrode is coated and the interaction at the surface coating produces the measurable frequency change. The crystals will need to have a consistent coating layer. This will be achieved by spin coating the crystals to produce a uniform coating. The focus of the project is to show that the chemistry for ligand attachment on the crystal and arsenic binding works. Once the chemistry is successfully demonstrated, the next goal is to create calibration curves, determine crystal saturation, determine interferences, and relate the change in sensor frequency to the amount of arsenic present in the sample.