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Development of a photoelectrochemical sensor for the quantification of phenolic contaminants

Grant number: 18/13724-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 11, 2018
Effective date (End): September 09, 2019
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Sanitary Engineering
Principal Investigator:Sergio Antonio Spinola Machado
Grantee:Camila Domingues Mendonça Verbinnen
Supervisor abroad: Karolien de Wael
Home Institution: Instituto de Química de São Carlos (IQSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : University of Antwerp (UA), Belgium  
Associated to the scholarship:16/06139-9 - Development of a nanostructured photo-electrochemical sensor for P-NITROPHENOL monitoring in supply water, BP.DR


This project has the objective of using photoelectrochemistry for the quantification of phenolic molecules, which are widely used in the manufacture of several products (plastic, pesticide, dye, detergent, etc) and are nocive to live organisms and, consequently, harmful to the environment. Due to this problem, we aim to develop a titanium dioxide semiconductor material photosensitized with phthalocyanine, that presents good stability and sensitivity for the detection of such molecules. The immobilization of TiO2 on the surface of fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO) or graphite substrate will be studied using a easy and low-cost technique. The deposition will be conducted in a thermostatic bath using a solution containing 0.3% H2O2 (volume ratio), TiOSO4 0.01 mol L-1, HNO3 0.05 mol L-1, at constant temperature of 10 °C, applying a potential of -1.2 V, during 2 hours. The surface photosensitization will be studied with phthalocyanine. Then, the synthesized material will be characterized by morphological techniques (XRD, SEM-FEG, RAMAN, SEM-EDX, EDXRF), optical techniques (optical microscopy, UV-Vis and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS)) and electrochemical techniques (chronoamperometry, linear voltammetry and EIS). After characterization, the photosensor will be used in the photoelectrochemical study of the phenolic molecules, where the presence of these compounds in solution will generate a response in the photocurrent signal, turning the quantification possible in water supply samples. This project of research internship abroad was expected to run for 11 months from September 2018 and it will be conducted in the Antwerp X-ray Analysis, Electrochemistry & Speciation (AXES) group, in University of Antwerp, under the supervision of Professor Karolien De Wael.