Sanford Research Group

The Preparation and Electropolymerization of Monomers for Sensor Applications

The overall goal of the Sanford research group is to make organic compounds that can be used in both environmentally and medically relevant sensing applications. Over the past few years the Sanford and Brown groups at Hope have joined their synthetic and electrochemical expertise. The Sanford group uses organic synthesis to prepare the monomers and then both groups electropolymerize and characterize the materials on electrodes. Advanced electrochemical characterization is then done in the Brown group. Students in our groups experience collaborative research in organic and analytical chemistry.

The goal of the research is to prepare novel ethylenedioxythiophene (EDOT) compounds that contain moieties capable of sensing. EDOT is capable of being polymerized electrochemically to form PEDOT, a stable electroactive film. Many of our projects focus on the functionalization of EDOT for specific sensing applications. Currently our group is working on the preparation of materials that will be able to sense hydrazine, glucose and heavy metals. Sensors to measure pH and polarity are also being prepared.

If you are interested in doing undergraduate research with the Sanford group and want to focus on organic synthesis, contact Dr. Elizabeth Sanford. If you are more interested in the electrochemistry contact Dr. Kenneth Brown.