Nanoscale Inorganic Ion-Exchange Films for Enhanced Electrochemical Heavy Metal Detection

Period of Performance: 01/01/2003 - 12/31/2003


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Eltron Research, Inc.
4600 Nautilus Court South
Boulder, CO 80301
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


72400S03-I Heavy metal contamination in ground and surface water is a widespread problem within the DOE complex. Advanced methods and instrumentation will be required to provide reliable, long-term monitoring for evaluation and remediation of this contamination. This project will develop a low-cost, portable monitor system for heavy metals (including mercury, cobalt, and chromium) that achieves superior stability, reproducibility, and sensitivity compared to anodic stripping voltammetry. The active element of the device will comprise a microfabricated electrochemical chip modified with a thin layer of a nanostructured clay mineral to promote sensitive detection of metals. Phase I will demonstrate the proposed concept by designing and fabricating the device, developing thin clay layers to facilitate ion-exchange chemistry, and evaluating detector performance. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by awardee: Electrochemical detection of heavy metals should provide a potential low-cost, portable solution to on-site testing for industrial and personal environmental evaluations. Applications include drinking water and waste water analysis, process effluent analysis, and environmental remediation.