One of the grand challenges in engineering is clean water for everyone. Solving this challenge is critical because water is a vital and necessary resource for all humans. However, chemicals and bacteria in drinking water pose significant health risks for us. To improve the safety of drinking water, sensitive, low?cost, rapid detection methods are required for water quality monitoring. In this presentation, we will describe our work on developing sensitive, small?size, flexible, easy?to?use, reliable and low?cost pH and chlorine sensing devices. First, highly?sensitive pH sensing system were developed using solution processable metal inks. Using optimized processing parameters, a linear super?Nernstian pH response(~65mV/pH), short response time (~18s), low hysteresis (<6 mV), high reproducibility and stable operation over 60 days were obtained. The proposed solution?based process is favorable for the fabrication of pH sensors on flexible substrates over a large area at low cost, since no high?temperature processing or vacuum equipment are needed. Second, low?cost graphite?based free?chlorine sensors were developed. Pencil lead was used to fabricate a graphite?based electrode. Its surface was electrochemically modified using ammonium carbamate to make it suitable for sensing free?chlorine in water samples. The graphite?based amperometric sensor gave a selective and linear response to free?chlorine in the relevant concentration range for water quality monitoring, and no response to reduced chlorine (chloride ion). Also, results on its storage stability, response time, hysteresis and the possibility for a planar configuration will be described. Finally, we will discuss on?going work on integrating the sensors with preprocessing modules and electronics towards smart sensors for water quality monitoring.
Dr. M. Jamal Deen is currently the elected President of the Academy of Science, The Royal Society of Canada. He is also a Distinguished University Professor and Senior Canada Research Chair in Information Technology, McMaster University. His current research interests are nanoelectronics, optoelectronics, nanotechnology and their emerging applications to health and environmental sciences. Dr. Deen’s research record includes more than 500 peer-reviewed articles (about 20% are invited), two textbooks on “Silicon Photonics- Fundamentals and Devices” and ”Fiber Optic Communications: Fundamentals and Applications”, 6 awarded patents that have been used in industry, and 13 best paper/poster/presentation awards. Over his career, he has won more than fifty awards and honors. As an undergraduate student at the University of Guyana, Dr. Deen was the top ranked mathematics and physics student and the second ranked student at the university, winning the Chancellor’s gold medal and the Irving Adler prize. As a graduate student, he was a Fulbright-Laspau Scholar and an American Vacuum Society Scholar. He is a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Electron Device Society for more than a decade. His awards and honors include the Callinan Award as well as the Electronics and Photonics Award from the Electrochemical Society; the Distinguished Researcher Award from the Province of Ontario; a Humboldt Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; the Eadie Medal from the Royal Society of Canada; McNaughton Gold Medal (highest award for engineers), the Fessenden Medal and the Ham Education Medal, all from IEEE Canada IEEE Canada In addition, he was awarded the three honorary doctorate degrees in recognition of his exceptional research and scholarly accomplishments, professionalism and service. Dr. Deen has also been elected Fellow status in ten national academies and professional societies including The Royal Society of Canada - The Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences (the highest honor for academics, scholars and artists in Canada), IEEE, APS (American Physical Society) and ECS (Electrochemical Society).