Degree Level




First Advisor

Oxley, Susan

Second Advisor

Langston, Camille

LCSH subject

Rare earth metals; Metal complexes; Chemical detectors


There are many biological and environmental uses for trivalent metals (like Fe3+, Al3+, and Cr3+) within our daily lives. Whether these trivalent metals are found in deficiency or excess can cause issues within our environment (global warming) or our bodies (can cause problems with our digestive, cardiovascular, and immune systems). Being able to detect them and understanding their importance becomes crucial in our understanding of the world that surrounds us.
One of the ways we can detect these trivalent metals is through the use of chemosensors. Chemosensors are used to sense analyte (trivalent metal) to produce a signal (fluorescence or absorbance). Much research has been done about trivalent colorimetric and fluorometric chemosensors, but many of these have complex syntheses to obtain the primary ligand used for trivalent metal detection, and even with such complex ligands the detection limit is still unreasonably high.
A chemosensor that is selective and sensitive to the trivalent metals (Al3+, Fe3+, and Cr3+) while aiming for a low detection limit and a simple synthesis for the ligand would save time and resources needed for trivalent chemosensors. This colorimetric and fluorometric chemosensor is proven useful in environmental applications, provides aid in research regarding the impacts of these metals in the environment, and the medical field, helpful for diagnostics and imaging, will allow for advancements in both fields. This researched successfully obtained a chemosensor with a low limit of detection, ranging from 0.067-0.092M for absorbance and 0.016-0.019M for fluorescence.

Publication Date

Winter 12-2023

Document Type


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.