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Development of paper-based SERS substrates for pesticide detection

Grant number: 23/04786-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): September 15, 2023
Effective date (End): March 14, 2024
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering
Principal Investigator:Carlos José Leopoldo Constantino
Grantee:Tatiana Aparecida de Oliveira
Supervisor: Rodrigo Ferrão de Paiva Martins
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (FCT). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Presidente Prudente. Presidente Prudente , SP, Brazil
Research place: Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal  
Associated to the scholarship:22/04020-5 - Optimization of carbendazim fungicide detection via SERS scattering: performance of benchtop vs portable equipment and liquid vs solid substrates, BP.MS


Pesticides are part of the so-called emerging contaminants and are used in plantations to eliminate insects, larvae, fungi and weeds that can cause plant diseases, harming the development of vegetation. It is claimed that the world demand for food, and the consequent need to plant in large areas, requires the use of pesticides also on a large scale, with Brazil being one of the world's largest consumers of pesticides. However, unfortunately, the use of pesticides is not always within the norms or the prohibitions on the use of certain pesticides not are respected. In this context, research is needed to monitor these pesticides to assess their impact on the environment and, consequently, on food, animals and people. Thus, this project aims to develop a paper-based platform (substrate) for sensory applications using the Surface-enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) technique. The use of paper-based SERS substrates is useful due to their flexibility, versatility, sensitivity, low cost and eco-friendly character. The paper-based SERS substrates will be used to detect the pesticide carbendazim (MBC), which had its use banned in Brazil recently (August/2022). The optimization of the substrates will be based on the characterization of different types of papers and the use of colloid of metallic nanoparticles (NPs), being the best method of deposition of NPs subject of this study. The main motivation for this proposal is the development of methods that contribute to scientific knowledge in the field of sensors. This project will be developed at Nova School of Science and Technology - University Nova de Lisboa - Portugal (CENIMAT-i3T), under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Rodrigo Martins. Prof's team Martins has extensive experience treating the surface of the paper for sensory application. In this way, the intern abroad (BEPE) will complement the master's project carried out in Brazil through the optimization of SERS substrates on paper, which will be of great value for the candidate's training and will allow for closer relations between the Groups of Brazil and Portugal. (AU)

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