Chandrima De

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Sherine O. Obare

Second Advisor

Dr. Herb Fynewever

Third Advisor

Dr. Yirong Mo

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Organophosphorus based pesticides are highly toxic and represent serious environmental concerns. These compounds tend to easily enter ground water and cause drastic pollution. The toxicity levels of the organophosphorus pesticides however are based on their structures, and hence methods for their selective detection are in high demand. The creation of new materials for sensing and actuation requires careful manipulation of the responsive units required to control analyte selectivity. We have successfully designed and synthesized a molecular sensor based on the family of stilbenes that not only can detect organophosphorus pesticides, but also distinguish between them. Four different pesticides have been investigated, namely, ethion, malathion, fenthion, and parathion. The sensors show significant differences in the optical output and electrochemical signal by interacting with the organophosphorus pesticides. The dual signal transduction is advantageous because it minimizes false positives. Apart from molecular sensors, we have also developed a series of gold nanoparticle-based sensors for detection of organophosphorus pesticides. Both the molecular and nanomaterials as sensors operate in real time and have parts-per-million detection limits.

Included in

Chemistry Commons