The contamination of rivers and springs due to increased industrial activities and neglect of environmental policies has been one of the most serious problems of modern society. And the situation is even more serious when it comes to emerging organic pollutants from increased consumption of cosmetics, medicines and cleaning supplies that are dumped into rivers through domestic sewage. Due to the lack of research and specific sensors for this class of pollutants, the risks to biome and human health are increasing every day. In the context presented, the main objective of this work is to obtain luminescent sensors for emerging organic pollutants such as: hormones, caffeine and potentially toxic metals such as chromium, using biohybrid luminescent materials structured from the modified kaolinite with amino acids through the organofunctionalization method. The choice of these materials is due to the potential of kaolinite application, its abundance and also the low cost, having its properties improved or increased by its modification with organic molecules, in this case, the amino acids that are also low cost, biodegradable and multifunctional. The sensor will be synthesized by the complexation of the material obtained with the lanthanide ion europium (III), which has higher emission intensities (in the form of organometallic complexes) and long emission life times, which increases its selectivity compared to the conventional detection methods, making it quite attractive for application in luminescent sensors of various contaminants.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: