This research project consists of six (6) Work Packages (WP). The first two packages deal with the management issues and the project's coordination (WP1) by the HO as well as the results' dissemination (WP2). This website has been constructed in context of the results dissemination.

The rest four WPs have to do with interconnected experimental work that includes the study of magnetic silica nano-materials for the determination of traces of heavy metal using an ICP technique.

WP3 includes the synthesis, chemical modification and characterization of the nano materials. These materials exhibit certain characteristics, such as:

  1. easy removal from a colloidal system using an external magnet,
  2. enclosure into micro cell by applying a magnetic field and
  3. deal substratum for chemical modification via silica s hydroxyl groups.

The nano particles' size will play a detrimental role in the analytical and detecting method. Changing the size of the based on magnetite nano particles, the ratio between the particles' main ingredient and heavy metals' will change. The nano particles sizes that will be studied will range from a few to 100 nm using alkoxysilanes for their coating. The main criteria for the selection of groups for the modification of nanoparticles will be: I. The high density of functional groups in the surface for receiving high signal. II. The capability of multiple active positions for the simultaneous targeting of different metals, while preserving a high detecting quality. Thus, heavy metal trapping can be successfully performed by "attaching" thiol-, amino, aminoaphthylimido-, aminosulfphenol-, calixarene-, crown ethers- drastic groups etc on the nanomaterials surface.

In WP4, magnetic nanoceria that will be synthesized by the composite magnetite-silica materials from theWP3. On those materials crystalline ceria will be deposited through the preparation of a ceria sol type precursor with the alcoxide method.

All the materials will be characterized using techniques such as Fourier Transform-Infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Elemental Analysis, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM).

The materials that will be synthesized will be used in WP5 and WP6 for thepre-concentration of heavy metals from environmental samples after being optimized. The magnetic qualities of the nanomaterials will be utilized for their easy removal from the matrix solution, the creation of a slurry suspension and their complete withholding in flow conditions before the tracing with ICP-OES , ICP-MS and HG-ETAAS.

In WP6, the advantages of the suggested techniques will be confirmed and designated with the analysis of surface water samples, liquid waste and sea water. Regarding sea water, high salinity causes significant difficulties in the detection of heavy metal traces using ICP and HG-ETAAS. In addition to that, the possibility of spectral interferences that stem from ions of sea water elements necessitates the processing of the samples with ICP-MS.

A brief description of the WPs is shown below:

WP3: Composition, chemical modification and characterization of the magnetite silica nano particles.

WP4: : Composition and characterization of magnetic ceria nano particles

WP5: : Nano particles enriched with heavy metals analysis, using electro thermal vaporization-ICP-OES/MS and HG-ETAAS,

WP6: Application of the techniques in samples of surface water, sea water and waste.