Name: jehad abdelnabi
Major/Area of Study/Graduate Department: chemistry
Faculty Advisors: Prof. Silvana Andreescu
Phosphate-based fertilizers are in widespread use around the world to increase agricultural yields in areas that would otherwise be unable to sustain substantial growth. With the amount of phosphate being added to soils, it is no surprise that much of the phosphate not utilized by plants is leached out of the soil and accumulates in waterways. With increasing phosphate concentrations in the water, harmful plants and algae can grow much faster, leading to algal blooms and potential ecological harm (eutrophication). Accordingly, the application of phosphate detection technology for monitoring water quality provides warnings of potential eutrophication, resulting in cost-effective and efficient management plans that minimize its environmental impacts. Here, the cerium-based metal-organic framework was selected as a sensing material for phosphate determination in water due to its exceptional stability under a broad pH range of (2–12), and the accessibility of the active sites for phosphate binding. This study demonstrates that the binding of phosphate on Ce atoms promotes a turn-on fluorescence signal that can be utilized to quantify the amounts of phosphate in the solution, yielding a detection limit of 74.3 ppb. Moreover, results reveal its selectivity for phosphates over other common anions (Cl−, Br−, I−, NO3 −, HCO3−, SO42−). This study may advance the design of new materials with high sensing capabilities, and good stability, thus making a significant contribution to the development of future-generation technology to mitigate the negative effects of water eutrophication.