The use of nanoparticles in non-homogenous mixtures called emulsions has several benefits, such as the ability to create stable two-dimensional structures and the ability to be easily produced. An example of an application of nanoparticles is its use in sensors, but in order to use nanoparticles, a polymer is needed to increase the stability of the emulsion. Peptoids are polymers that are built through amines, rather than amino acids in peptides, so they can carry out certain functions based on the primary amine. The peptoid is amphiphilic, meaning that it has both hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties, but the nanoparticles are hydrophobic, so it only interacts with the hydrophobic parts of the peptoid.
The objective of the project is to create stable emulsions containing nanoparticles and peptoids. The main focus is to determine the effects of increased and decreased concentrations and amounts of the nanoparticle and peptoid on the interaction of the two in the emulsion. The effects can be observed using an optical tensiometer to measure the surface tension which measures the surface interaction. The effects can further be visualized, using a microscope to take pictures of the emulsions over time.Ultimately, the data obtained can later be used to produce emulsion-based sensors to detect pollutants in water.