Polymer nanofibers are materials of appealing properties for varied technological applications owing to their special features as high surface area/volume ratio, mechanical flexibility and mainly to the possibility to promote surface and/or bulk modification to produce functional hybrid nanofibers. Such nanofibers are highly potential for designing filtration membranes, energy storage devices, controlled release antibiotic systems, cell growth platforms and also optical chemicalelectrochemical sensors for detecting analytes of agricultural and environmental interest.One of the most traditional techniques to produce polymer nanofibers with controlled diameter and morphology is the electrospinning technique. More specifically, this technique has been proven to be a highly suitable method for designing functional polymer nanofibers with customized morphology, having diameters that can reach a few micrometers down to tens of nanometers. This method was "rediscovered" by Reneker and Doshi, and achieved great popularity since the nineties. Since then, this method has been used for producing hybrid nanofibers containing conducting polymers, metal oxides, metallic nanoparticles, etc. Therefore, this proposal aims to require a highly qualified candidate who is capable to work with electrospinning technique (including conventional and coaxial spinneret approaches)to develop hybrid and complex nanofibers in distinct matrices, to be applied indistinct chemical and optical sensors applications.Such hybrid nanofibers produced during the project will be deposited onto varied electrodes, including FTO semiconductor, glass, plastic substrates and metal interdigitated electrodes. There are innumerous factor that affect the final properties of electrospun nanofibers, including electrical voltage employed, polymer concentration and viscosity, temperature, humidity, solution conductivity, output rate of syringe containing the polymer solution, to name a few. Therefore, depending on the intended nanofibers properties, all the experimental conditions must be investigated and optimized, in order to reach a final hybrid fiber with the desired and optimized features (morphology, porosity, diameter, functional groups, etc) for a sensor application.Such hybrid nanofibers, modified in the bulk and/or in the surface with conducting polymer, metal oxide nanoparticles, enzymes, etc, will be deposited onto varied electrodes aiming to be used in chemical, electrochemical and optical sensors.Such sensors will be employed for detecting analytes of agricultural and environmental interest in real samples, including emerging pollutants, hormones, heavy metals, pathogens and also pesticides.Thus, such project proposal for a post-doctoral fellowship is a tremedous opportunity for an intense and fruitful collaboration with the Thematic Project group to develop converging technologies for sensing and biosensing.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: