Date of Award

May 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Alexander L Arnold

Second Advisor

Alan W Schwabacher

Committee Members

Mark Dietz, Joseph Aldstadt, Arsenio Pacheco


Most water systems contain metal ions. Some of these ions, such as lead, arsenic, and mercury, are extremely toxic. It is of great concern when those ions make their way into drinking water. There is a need for a device that can detect small amounts of dissolved metal ions in real-time. The Schwabacher group has designed such a device, based on azo dyes as the chemo sensors that change color in the presence of metal ions. These sensors can detect very small concentrations of metal ions into the parts per billion range. The sensor dyes are connected with covalent bonds to a hydrogel polymer solid support. The work herein describes the continuing development of hydrogel polymers for this application. These hydrogels are transparent and attached to glass for stability. The previous prototype worked but had some undesirable variability that can be improved upon. The length of the synthesis of the hydrogel components has been reduced achieving higher stability and better replicability.

Included in

Chemistry Commons