Masters degree in Material Engineering and Nanotechnology
Yuqing Yang is a Chinese girl who got her Master’s degree in Material Engineering and Nanotechnology in Politechnico di Milano, Italy. She did her master thesis in the Ultrafast Photoemission and Optical Spectroscopy Lab (UPHOS) of Politecnico di Milano and research on the ‘ultrafast anisotropy exciton dynamics in patterned MoS2 nanosheet’. She took an active part in Erasmus exchange in ENCIACET, Toulouse, France during her master study, where she did her internship in the chemical engineering lab of ENSIACET for the PEDOT thin film deposition using OCVD method. After the master degree, she worked as R&D engineer for the polycrystalline diamond compounds (PCD) for several months where she starts to get in touch with the industry. From August of 2019, she works in Tyndall national institute in Ireland and becomes one of the Marie Curie early stage researcher for the AQUASENSE project.
RP3: Electrochemical / Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) for detection of pesticides (ESR3-TYN)
The European Union (EU) has identified a list of new contaminants that needs to be monitored owing to their toxicity to human and/or aquatic fauna. Amongst these contaminants are neonicotinoids pesticides such as imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiacloprid. These pesticides are routinely administered throughout the world to maximise crop yields and protect agricultural products. Unfortunately, alarms have been recently raised about the negative effects of these pesticides on the bees’ activities, and there is strong suspicion of adverse health effects on human. The current established detection methods of these toxic chemicals are based solid phase extraction / HPLC- or GC- mass spectrometry. These techniques require samples to be sent to dedicated analytical laboratories, meaning a real-time monitoring is impossible. Also, these techniques have to be carried out by trained operators on high end equipment, resulting in a costly process. To address this challenge, ESR3 will develop an innovative platform based on a combination of two promising technologies that have recently shown great promise towards detection of pesticides, namely electrochemical (cyclic voltammetry, square wave voltammetry) and Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS). The combination of these two technologies will provide label-free, real-time, sensitive and selective detection of the targeted contaminants. The electrochemical detection will be developed sensing chips being fabricated at TYN using standard microelectronic processes. SERS capabilities will be added to these chips for dual sensing modalities. The sensing capabilities will be assessed first in the lab and then in the field.
Tyndall National Institute, University of College Cork, Ireland