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Ellen Robertson, assistant professor of chemistry, was awarded a grant from The Bender Scientific Fund of the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region for her research project "Peptoid Mediated Assembly of Gold Nanoparticles at Fluid Interfaces."

This project is aimed at fundamental studies that will inform the design of surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy sensors that can be produced easily, inexpensively, and reproducibly. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are part of a class of environmental pollutants that are persistent in Upstate New York water sources. Levels of PCBs in the environment require continual monitoring and current sensors require extensive sample preparation, expertise, and cannot be used on site. The project will aim to address preparing reliable SERS sensors that can reproducibly detect low levels of pollutants in water samples.