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Chemosensors for environmental pollutants

NSF Award:

RII: Enhancing Alabama's Research Capacity in Nano/Bio Science and Sensors  (Tuskegee University)

Congressional Districts:
Research Areas:

Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) have generated compounds able to bind environmentally toxic heavy metal chlorides.

The design of efficient molecular receptors that can accurately detect heavy metal pollutants can actively help preserve the biological and ecological systems in which we live.

Considered one of the most hazardous classes of pollutants, heavy metals can jeopardize water supplies. UAB researchers designed their chemosensors so that their sulfur atoms readily bind to mercury(II) chloride and platinum(II) chloride. Solid-state crystal structures and solution-state titration curves demonstrate that the receptors bind to the target materials. These preliminary results establish a promising future in which further compound optimization may lead to materials ready for field applications.


  • sulfur-containing compounds act as binding agents for heavy metals and can help protect the environment
Compounds containing sulfur bind to heavy metals and can help protect the environment.
Justin Martin, University of Alabama at Birmingham

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