Chemistry Department Seminar III


Current development of disposable formaldehyde gas sensors

Ruirui Luo (MRes Student)


Long-term exposure to formaldehyde can cause damage to the liver, kidney, and central nervous system of human being. There are many commercial gas sensors, but those that meet the requirements of international standards are generally expensive, which limits their practicality in general applications.
Electrochemical sensors can offer lower operation cost, simple and scalable fabrication to afford very inexpensive sensors that are suitable for use as disposable (single use) sensor. Amperometric and conductometric measurements may be used depending on the detection mechanisms employed. Carbon based disposable sensing platform has evolved into a new era with the availability of graphene which offers simple fabrication, high conductivity and durability. Our project is to fabricate electrochemical sensors with carbon based sensing platform to achieve two main objectives: 1) reducing the cost of sensor production and 2) reducing the cost of operation, while maintaining the required sensitivity and selectivity.

Non-noble metal cocatalysts for solar-to-hydrogen water splitting

Xueming Lang (MRes Student)


Photocatalytic water splitting to form hydrogen has attracted considerable attentions as a potential way for renewable energy production. An economic and noble/toxic-metal free photocatalytic system was established using water-soluble/inexpensive/nontoxic carbon quantum dots (CQDs) as a photocatalyst in combination with a Ni(II)-based cocatalyst and diverse sacrificial reagents. The system offered an unoptimised activity of 1.08 μmol H2 (gCQD)−1 h−1 under visible light with EDTA as sacrificial agent.