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Small molecules

Analysis of small molecules is difficult to perform with surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. Generally speaking the binding or absorption of small molecules onto a surface does not bring about a large change in refractive index. Therefore some type a transduction mechanism is needed to translate the presence of small molecular analyte into a physical change that is readily detected by plasmonic affects. To this end we are employing environmentally responsive polymers that expand or contract proportional to the concentration of targeted stimuli.


Current Research

Our research interest is the development of in-situ chemical sensors for environmental, biomedical, and industrial process monitoring. Specifically, the research group has been concentrating on advancement of fiber optic surface plasmon resonance (SPR) Raman, and fluorescence sensors. In developing these sensors we meld instrumental design with advanced data analysis (Chemometrics) methods to achieve optimal instrumental performance. This research is driven by the realization that many measurement challenges – particularly problems involving analyte selectivity and sensitivity – are not best addressed by solely applying chemistry or physics solutions. These ‘physical’ solutions are often time, labor, and capital expensive. Instead, instrumental selectivity and sensitivity (and robustness) can often be enhanced by incorporating mathematical and statistical analysis of the collected data into the instrumental design.