Katherine Deaton

Department: Chemical Engineering

Mentor: Dr. Evan K. Wujcik

Title: “Electrochemical Sensor for the Detection of Lead in Drinking Water”


According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, lead, a toxic trace metal, when consumed in dangerous amounts, can affect the physical or mental development in children and infants and cause adults to develop high blood pressure or kidney problems. This creates a need for a simple and easy-to-use method to test the safety of drinking water. The device would consist of an electrospun nylon-6 nanofiber mat functionalized with multi-walled carbon nantoubes and calixarene moieties selective to lead. As the lead ions bind to the calixarenes, a characteristic electrical change would indicate the concentration of lead ions.