Sensor Surface Chemistry R&D Internship
The intern will play an important role in the development of a new nano-chemical sensor technology for detection and monitoring of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
The sensor is based on a nano-structured optical element, that increases the sensitivity and selectivity for the detection by several orders of magnitude compared to standard optical VOC detection. The technology won 3rd place at the RSC Emerging Technologies Competition in 2016.
The aim of the project is to develop a surface chemistry functionalisation procedure (using background literature) in order to change the functionality of the sensor, to reduce sensitivity to interfering compounds and to tune its sensitivity towards a particular family of VOCs. Functionalisation of the nanostructured surface can be achieved using several methods including siloxane chemistry for example, and a most suitable technique will be established.
It is important to ensure that the surface chemistry is reproducible and stable, and therefore characterisation techniques will be used to study those properties (FTIR, contact angle, N2 isotherms). Finally, sensor responses without and with the surface chemistry will be compared and analysed.
Expected outcome: determine how different surface chemistries affect the sensor's response to VOCs.
The role is mainly lab-based.
This internship is funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry and a years free Royal Society of Chemistry Membership is available to the intern.
At the end of the internship, there could be an opportunity to continue working in the company.