Superfund Research Program

August 2017

Picoyune's mercury-detection device

Researchers at Picoyune, an SRP-funded small business, are developing a reliable, portable, and easy-to-use device to detect mercury in solid and liquid samples. They hope the device will replace complex and costly equipment used to monitor mercury before and during remediation at contaminated sites.

Technology Gold nanoparticle-based plasmonic mercury sensor
Innovation The commercial instrument is based on a mercury-selective gold nanoparticle film developed at the University of California, Berkeley SRP Center. Picoyune is refining the device so it will be lightweight (< 20 lbs), inexpensive, sensitive to levels of concern for remediation (< 6 mg/kg mercury), and battery-powered. The thermal/catalytic sample introduction system will be low-power, with low sample loss and high throughput. It also does not require wet chemicals or other consumables.
Contaminant and Media The sensor is being developed to detect mercury in soil, sediment, water, and other liquid or aqueous samples.
Principal Investigator Jay James, Ph.D.
Institution Picoyune
Grant Number R44ES023729