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The goal of this research is to detect low levels of lithium ions in aqueous samples using silver nanoparicles. Lithium is used in many drugs, lithium ion batteries and is even being looked at as an additive to drinking water. Lithium ions are known to have mood-altering effects on the body but can also disrupt thyroid function. Thus being aware of the concentration of Li+ in aqueous solutions is pertinent in preventing these complications. The silver nanoparticles in this study are synthesized by reducing silver nitrate with NaBH4. A specific ligand, 3,4- dimethoxythiophenol, is used to cap the nanoparticles and allows for the binding of Li+ ions. The Li+ ions bind to two nanoparticles bringing them together in solution resulting in a color change which is detectable by UV-Vis spectroscopy. Our current method requires a 60 minute incubation period as determined by monitoring the absorbance spectrum over time. Analysis is currently underway to determine the detection limit and selectivity of these ligand-capped nanoparticles

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Poster, Final Report Form

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Jennifer Zemke



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