The heavy metal ion contamination of groundwater and drinking water supply network, the detection of these contaminants and the cleaning of the water are serious problems both in the developed and undeveloped countries. The test kits aimed to detect possible contaminating ions (eg. arsenic) are usually complicated, making it hard or impossible to use by the untrained people of the developing areas. There is a great need then for an easy-to-use, electronic and portable heavy metal detector.
The surface plasmon resonance imaging (SPRI) is a versatile and very sensitive optical method. By using the appropriate receptors, it grants the possibility to detect multiple metal ions in drinking water simultaneously in one step.
As part of my thesis, I carried out literature research to find a receptor layer with the SPRi equipment in order to selectively detect arsenic ions. After that I characterized with electrochemical and SPRi methods the dithiotreitol (DTT) based self-organizing receptor system, which was selected by specific criteria.
Although the binding of arsenic into the receptor layer was possible to detect, reproducable quantitative results were not obtained with the sensor.