NER: Polymer Nanowire Chemical Sensors for Aqueous Media
This project is assessing the feasibility of using nano-wires made of non-conductive polymers to detect various ions in solution. The hypothesis is that resistivity of such polymer wires are affected by sorption of electrolytes from the water and that ions with different mobilities would alter the electrical conductivity of the polymer in different ways. The work involves three objectives: fabrication of aqueous nanowire sensors, electrical characterization of the nanowires, and development of nanowire electrical contacts and dual sensors based on nanowire concepts. The study will evaluate whether polymer-based nanowires are more versatile than modified metal or ceramic nanowires and more affordable to manufacture. Understanding the behavior of polymer nanowires could lead to the development of many kinds of novel sensors and control options.