MRS Meetings and Events


EL07.09.12 2023 MRS Fall Meeting

Ultratrace PFAS Detection using Amplifying Fluorescent Polymers

When and Where

Nov 29, 2023
8:00pm - 10:00pm

Hynes, Level 1, Hall A



Jesus Castro Esteban1,Alberto Concellón1,Timothy Swager1

MIT, Department of Chemistry1


Jesus Castro Esteban1,Alberto Concellón1,Timothy Swager1

MIT, Department of Chemistry1
Per- and poly(fluoroalkyl) substances (PFAS) are environmentally persistent pollutants that are of growing concern due to their detrimental effects at ultratrace concentrations (ng/L) in human and environmental health. Suitable technologies for on-site ultratrace detection of PFAS do not exist and current methods require complex and specialized equipment, making the monitoring of PFAS in distributed water infrastructures extremely challenging.<br/>Herein, we describe amplifying fluorescent polymers (AFPs) that can selectively detect perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) at concentrations of ng/L. The AFPs are highly fluorinated and have poly(<i>p</i>-phenylene ethynylene) and polyfluorene backbones bearing pyridine-based selectors that react with acidic PFAS via a proton-transfer reaction. The fluorinated regions within the polymers partition PFAS into polymers, whereas the protonated pyridine units create lower-energy traps for the excitons, and emission from these pyridinium sites results in red-shifting of the fluorescence spectra. The AFPs are evaluated in thin-film and nanoparticle forms and can selectively detect PFAS concentrations of ∼1 ppb and ∼100 ppt, respectively. Both polymer films and nanoparticles are not affected by the type of water, and similar responses to PFAS were found in milliQ water, DI water, and well water. These results demonstrate a promising sensing approach for on-site detection of aqueous PFAS in the ng/L<sup> </sup>range.


polymer | thin film

Symposium Organizers

Gabriela Borin Barin, Empa
Shengxi Huang, Rice University
Yuxuan Cosmi Lin, TSMC Technology Inc
Lain-Jong Li, The University of Hong Kong

Symposium Support

Montana Instruments

Oxford Instruments WITec
Raith America, Inc.

Session Chairs

Gabriela Borin Barin
Yuxuan Cosmi Lin

In this Session

Large-Area, Pulsed Laser Deposition of MoS2/a-BN Heterostructures for Back-Gate Field Effect Transistors Applications

A Study of Transport and Optical Properties of Liquid Nitrogen-Assisted Deposition of Titanium Oxynitride Thin Films

High-Performance Electromechanical Power Generation of Lithography-Free Large-Scale MoS2 Monolayer Film Harvesters

An Investigation of Lithium and Cobalt Intercalation Method in 2D Transition Metal Dichalcogenides

Effect of Hot-Wire Oxidization and Sulfur Annealing on Layered p-MoS2 for TFT Application

Photoelectrochemical Polymerization (PEP) of EDOT for Formation of Pattered PEDOT at Specific Arbitrary Regions on Hematite (α-Fe2O3)

Spatially Resolved and In Situ Electrochemical Imaging on Two-Dimensional Materials using Scanning ElectroChemical Cell Microscopy (SECCM)

Nanowire-Based Sensor Platform for Breath Analysis

Sensitive Microwave Spectroscopy of Van der Waals Materials with Coplanar Waveguides

Ultratrace PFAS Detection using Amplifying Fluorescent Polymers

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Publishing Alliance

MRS publishes with Springer Nature