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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 22 (2017) pp 29-32

Raman Spectroscopy Studies of Conductive Polymer [P3MT] and P3MT with Lead on Different Surfaces: A Correlation Study of Electrochemical Analysis of Conductive Polymer with Toxic Heavy Metal In The Detection of Pyrocatechol

John Beetar, Alfons Schulte Stamatina Tolias, and Suzanne Kay Lunsford*,‡

Department of Physics, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida; Department of Chemistry, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio,
Received September 15, 2016. Accepted January 19, 2017.

Published: 1 February 2017

Abstract. Raman “in situ” electrochemical studies have been carried out to investigate the electrochemical interaction of conductive polymer (poly-3-methylthiophene, P3MT) with lead on two different surfaces: silicon conductive glass and indium tin oxide conductive glass. With concern towards negative environmental impacts, conductive poly-3-methylthiophene polymer was electrochemically grown on the surfaces of silicon wafers and indium tin oxide (ITO) conductive glass to facilitate their interaction with lead.Therefore, the conductive polymers were treated with the heavy metal, lead to verify they experienced a synergistic interaction with the lead ions present as shown electrochemically in the cyclic voltammetry analysis. The present findings have concluded the silicon wafers are not the most stable surface to electrochemically grow the conductive polymers. Data from the indium tin oxide coated glass materials exhibited more reproducible results and allowed for better understanding of the polymer and polymer-lead interactions. Therefore, in this inquiry lab students compared our Raman spectra with well-established reference materials to compare our findings in this manuscript to the electrochemical findings of how lead poisoning effects of lead poisoning on the detection of pyrocatechol (a common neurotransmitter).The red lead formation on the P3MT ITO surface was confirmed by the Raman spectra thus matching the literature findings. This inquiry lab provides unique learning experiences by integrating chemistry and physics content together into one research lab experiment with novel instrumentation to investigate the problem.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; analytic chemistry; Raman spectroscopy; lead contamination; electrochemistry; pyrocatechol detection; conductive polymer (P3MT);  conductive material versus nonconductive material for Raman spectra

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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