Date of Award


Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Chemistry and Biochemistry; Polymers and High Performance Materials

First Advisor

Jason Azoulay, Ph.D.

Advisor Department

Polymers and High Performance Materials


Azo dyes are abundant pollutants that contaminate water supplies and threaten humans, biota, and ecosystem health. Their detection and discrimination are an incredible challenge due to the structural, chemical, and optical similarities between dyes, the complexity of the wastewater environment in which they are found, and their low environmental concentrations. In this work, the inner filter effect (IFE), combined with conjugated polymer array-based sensing, is utilized for the quantitative profiling of these pollutants. The array was constructed using three fluorescent, anionic conjugated polyelectrolytes whose varying spectroscopic properties led to distinct IFE patterns in the presence of the dyes. The unique fluorescence response patterns were identified and processed using linear discriminant analysis (LDA), enabling the individual identification of 12 closely related azo dyes. To demonstrate its potential in environmental applications, the array was used to differentiate between these dyes at nanomolar concentrations in water.


Honors College Award: Excellence in Research