Project Details


In this research supported by the Analytical and Surface Chemistry Program, Professor Huixin He and her group seek an extensive understanding of the fundamental mechanism of performance enhancement in a conducting polymer/carbon nanotube composite network, and exploit the highly enhanced composite networks for biosensor applications, especially for multiplex chemical warfare agent detections. By exploiting the salient chemistry of nucleic acids, the surface chemistry and electronic structures of commercially available single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) will be engineered to facilitate the production of highly conductive and highly crystallized interfacial conducting polymers in the composite. The high quality interfacial conducting polymer, will act as an array of conducting polymer nanojunctions, and in turn, modulate the electronic contact junctions between the SWNTs in the composite network. The fundamental knowledge learned will lead to the development of a new molecular detection platform, which will synergistically combine the merits of conducting polymer nanojunctions and carbon nanotube networks. The fast conductance-switch property of the conducting polymer nanojunctions will allow rapid, sensitive, and importantly, selective molecular detection. The remarkable electronic and mechanic properties of carbon nanotubes will confer the conducting polymer nanojunctions with chemical and mechanical stability. The self-assembling capability of the carbon nanotube networks will make the nanojunction fabrication scalable and low cost. This project focuses on development of a novel sensitive multiplex chemical warfare agent detection system, which is of national interest. Given the widespread applications of conducting polymers in numerous analytical platforms, the proposed activities will have far reaching scientific and economic impacts on sensor development of trace-level monitoring of pollutants, drugs, and pathogenic bacteria for health care, homeland security, agriculture, and food industries. The educational plan will bring nanoscience tools and concepts to a wide range of students on a campus known as the most diverse in the nation. The inherently interdisciplinary nature of this research will produce students with exceptional training in nanotechnology, surface chemistry, and molecular sensing. Research activities designed for undergraduates, and high school students will promote more gifted minority students into the nanoscience ranks. Extensive outreach to the Newark area, a minority-dominated region, will raise the public awareness of the impact of nanoscience on technology.
Effective start/end date2/15/081/31/12


  • National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation (NSF))


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