Jones Seminar: Responsive Materials for Portable Chemical Sensing

Katherine Mirica, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Dartmouth

Friday, February 5, 2016, 3:30–4:30pm

Spanos Auditorium, Cummings Hall

Portable gas sensors are a critical part of managing and protecting the environment, human health, safety, and quality of life. Nanostructured materials, such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs), graphene, and two-dimensional conductive metal organic frameworks (MOFs), are emerging materials with utility in chemical sensing. A useful feature of these materials is that their electrical conductance can be extremely sensitive to changes in the local chemical environment. This presentation will describe an exceedingly simple and rapid procedure, completely analogous to drawing with a pencil, for fabricating selective chemiresistors from CNTs and MOFs on the surface of paper and plastic. The simplicity of this fabrication method enabled the discovery of several novel formulations for selective gas and vapor sensors, and made it possible to integrate these materials into low-power sensors, including wireless chemical sensing devices that can be interrogated with a smartphone using radio frequency communication. Taken together, these developments may enable chemical sensors with broad utility in environmental monitoring, diagnosis of disease, and protection of public safety.

About the Speaker

Katherine was born and raised in Ukraine, and moved with her family to the US at the age of 14. She managed to complete her entire educational experience in the Boston area, obtaining BS in chemistry from Boston College, PhD in chemistry from Harvard University, and completing postdoctoral studies at MIT. At Harvard, she worked with George Whitesides to develop magnetic levitation as a simple and portable method that for density-based chemical analysis. At MIT, she worked with Tim Swager as an NIH postdoctoral fellow on the development of portable electronic carbon-based chemical sensors for the detection of hazardous gases and vapors. Katherine began as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Dartmouth in July 2015.

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