Electroanalytical chemistry can play a very important role in the protection of our environment. In particular, electrochemical sensors and detectors are very attractive for on-site monitoring of priority pollutants, as well as for addressing other environmental needs. Such devices satisfy many of the requirements for on-site environmental analysis. These sensors are inherently sensitive and selective towards electroactive species, fast and accurate, compact, portable and inexpensive. Such capabilities have already made a significant impact on decentralized clinical analysis. Yet, despite their great potential for environmental monitoring, broad applications of electrochemical sensors for pollution control are still in their infancy.


       The proposed research project entitled SENSORS FOR METALS BASED ON AZULENES MODIFIED ELECTRODES FOR WATER QUALITY MONITORING; acronyme SEMEMA can have a notable significance to the development of the knowledge in this area. Its theme regards the development domain of some electrochemical sensors based on modified electrodes with polyazulene complexing films, being a domain of major interested in the international research. The propose research regards the way to obtain some amperometric sensors sensitive to pollutants as the heavy metals, especially mercury, copper, lead and cadmium, but not limited to these species.


       The project fits the global research in macrocyclic and macropolicyclic host systems, like crown eters and cryptands. From relevant molecules in supermolecular chemistry, capable to selectively link organic or inorganic species, either charged or not, there are some that can be considered elementary. They feature recognition properties on which, after functionalization, a thin sensitive layer can be obtained through electropolymerization. Typically, the transposition of properties from homogenous to a heterogeneous system has the following advantages: usage of a significantly smaller amount of ligand as compared with the same system in a homogenous state, the possibility of automating the analysis method in a technological flow (on-line system), miniaturization of the detection system.

       This project fits the domain of materials, processes and innovative products (7), Technologies and high precision mechanical products and mechatronic systems (7.3), Equipment and high precision devices for testing and controlling the environmental parameters and primary food quality (7.3.10) and proposes research in obtaining new electrochemical sensors for metals in water. The project is based on research synergy of partners with multidisciplinary talents from the University Politehnica of Bucharest - coordinator CO, three research and development institutes - the C.D. Nenitescu Centre for Organic Chemistry of  the Romanian Academy – partner P1, the National R&D Institute for Optoelectronics – INOE 2000 – partner P2, and Romanian National Research and Development Institute ECOIND – partner P3,  as well as an economical agent interested in research in physical and chemical sciences SC ANALIST SERVICE SRL – partner P4.


       The coordinator and its partners have a material infrastructure well suited for completing the project objectives and the necessary human resources (45 persons involved, out of which 30% are young). The described activities are matched with the human and material resources of partners, specifically: synthesis and characterization of organic compounds (P1), determination of electrochemical properties and film formation expertise as well as in evaluation of molecular recognition properties (CO), expertise in surface characterization by physical methods and  in manufacturing and testing prototypes and patenting (P2), experience in testing and validation of new methods (P3), practical/current experience in testing water content using classical and advanced analytical methods (P4).