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Research Activities: Dr. Madhuprasad

A unique material has been synthesized for the detection of mercury in any water sample (such as drinking water, commercial and domestic waste water and industrial waste water). The material is solid, insoluble in water and stable in normal conditions which makes it easy to handle, easy to pack, easy to transport and easy to use.

Since the developing country like India is urbanizing and industrializing more rapidly, the water and soil pollution is also increasing tremendously. In this aspect, a solid substrate embedded with organic molecule has been developed which changes its colour in presence of mercury ions (Fig.). Same colour change can be visualized in the transparent test water sample in presence of mercury ions.

Colour change in the solid material in presence of mercury ions
Colour change in the solid material in presence of mercury ions


Fluoride is beneficial to human health in small quantities; it plays vital roles in preventing dental decay and in treating osteoporosis. In contrast, excess fluoride consumption can cause dental and skeletal fluorosis along with many other diseases. Similarly, many metal ions such as mercury are considered to be toxins to human health. Despite of this knowledge, introduction of toxins to the environment by excessive urbanization and industrialization continues. Thus, it is significance to detect and if possible remove these toxic ions from drinking water.

Colorimetric ion sensing using organic receptors via supramolecular approach is one of the leading methods for the detection of these toxic ions. Based on this approach, new organic receptors will be designed and synthesised for the detection of these ions and these organic receptors will be attached covalently over different materials to remove ions from drinking water.    

Further, these materials will be used for the development of disposable devices to treat and remove toxins from drinking water.

Change in colour of receptor

A) Change in colour of receptor:
a) free receptor, b) F‒, c) Cl‒, d) Br‒ e) I‒, f)NO3‒, g) HSO4‒ h) H2PO4‒ and i) AcO‒.

B) Extraction process of F‒ ions from aqueous solutions and sea water using a solution of S6R2 in CH2Cl2.


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