Voltammetric detection, transformation and toxicity of engineered nanomaterials in aqueous environment and application of micro-/nanomotors for environmental remediation
Teo, Wei Zhe
Date of Issue2017-01-12
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
Nanotechnology has made remarkable progress in the 21st century owing to advances in instrumentations and techniques. Many consumer products are now incorporated with engineered nanomaterials that possess unique properties to enhance the product features. Limited regulations on the use of these potential pollutants led to rising concerns about the effect of engineered nanomaterials presence in the environment on the ecosystems and our health. Hence, this project examined the possibility of utilising voltammetric methods for accurate and efficient determination of engineered nanomaterials. Subsequently, the transformation of nanomaterials in different environmental waters were investigated and compared to find out how its interactions with the components in the water could affect its physiochemical properties, which in turn would influence its toxicity. Following that, cytotoxicity assessments of emerging engineered nanomaterials were performed to better understand their toxicity profiles they are introduced commercially. Besides engineered nanomaterials, micro- and nanometre scale devices which could undergo self-propulsion were successfully fabricated due to nanotechnology advances and they possess remarkable potential for various applications. Despite showing the capability to improve the rate of pollutant removal and degradation in proof-of-concept studies, there are challenges that impede its progression towards real-world application. Some of these challenges were addressed in this project through the replacement of platinum catalyst, large-scale and low cost fabrication of nanomotors, and studying the effect micromotors motion at macroscale level.