Organic Synthesis and Lead Detection Devices

We have developed a new class of ene-dithiols that bind metal ions very effectively. These LeadGlow structures were synthesized during our ongoing efforts to synthesize certain features of the molybdenum cofactor. Many of the molecules are fluorophores and we are exploring their optical properties as well as their metal binding, particularly lead binding, properties. One such molecule, called Leadglow (LG) shown here exhibit a strong preference for Pb2+ and thus acts a sensor for Pb2+.

Since our synthesis of two iterations of LeadGlow, we have began development of an in-field sensor. We are working towards creating a sensor that is easy to use, but still maintaining quality. The sensor will be able to be used while attached to a phone or laptop, and detects fluorescence of the LeadGlow in water samples.