The group consolidates the body of expertise already accumulated in the Institute in the area of air quality monitoring and environmental sensing techniques. Its aims include extending the work on characterisation of the pollutants in the atmosphere, the study of their harmful effects, and developing novel sensing methods.
The group is also involved in trace metal analysis using graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy and anodic stripping voltametry. Of particular concern is lead levels in potable water and efforts towards developing a technique for accurate determination of lead in seawater are being made.
The group has considerable expertise in the design construction and testing of biomedical microspectrometer sensor systems. Such systems have applications for monitoring the redox reactions of respiratory pigments in cell extracts and permeabilised cells. Conducting polymers based, for example, on isoindoles, show similar spectral changes upon optical or electrochemical stimulus. Such colour changes can therefore be used for sensor applications. The group will explore the applications of such sensor materials and micro systems for environmental monitoring.