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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2009, Article ID 514947, 6 pages
Research Article

Designing Zirconium Coated Polystyrene Colloids and Application

Department of Natural Sciences, Albany State University, 504 College Drive, Albany, GA 31705, USA

Received 15 December 2008; Revised 20 March 2009; Accepted 29 March 2009

Academic Editor: Yongxiang Li

Copyright © 2009 Diana Chira and Seong S. Seo. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A simple technique has been developed to prepare core colloids that are modified using zirconium oxychloride, based on heating a solution of core colloid composites, consisting of poly (ethylenimine) (PEI) and zirconium oxychloride. The interaction of zirconium oxychloride with the polystyrene (PS) core colloids has been investigated using Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) data. FT-IR studies confirm the occurrence of amine groups present in PEI which are oxidized to carboxyl groups after the reaction. The EDX data and the SEM images confirm the presence of zirconium particles immobilized on the polystyrene surfaces. Demeton, a highly toxic nerve agent, was used due to its ability to easily bind through its organophosphate group illustrating a practical application of the PS-PEI-Zr particles. Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR) Spectroscopy was used to assess the interactions between the toxic nerve agent demeton-S and the PS-PEI-Zr particles. The results show that the presented technique for coating polystyrene core colloids with zirconium was successfully accomplished, and the newly formed particles easily bond with demeton agents through the P=O functional group.