This scientific proposal is planned on the basis of former good results reached in basic research on sensitive sol-gel systems (sensors). Such sensors are formed by doped thin coats (200-500 nm) and, among others applications, they can be used for detection or measurement of environmental parameters affecting negatively the integral conservation of historical and cultural materials and objects. After the obtaining of the PhD degree, the applicant does continue studying sensitive sol-gel systems and other applications of sol-gel coats for protection purposes. In the present proposal, the development and optimisation of environmental acidity sensors, started in the PhD research, is planned. Likewise, other sensitive sol-gel systems against environmental parameters, such as temperature, light and relative humidity are envisioned.
This is because they synergically deteriorate the major part of cultural heritage materials together with acid pollutants. Sol-gel systems as planned here incorporate different dopants (chromophores) into the polymeric and microporous gel structure, in such a way that the optical reversible properties of chromophores are preserved, once immobilised in the solid-state gel matrix. These sensors are easy to handle, maintain and transport, being obtained under a low-cost production process. The sensors are based on optical response (absorption, transmission, luminescence). The workplan scheduled is attainable in time, realistic and coherent with the proposed objectives.
Moreover, by means of that workplan, a new family of environmental sensors useful in preventive conservation tasks of cultural assets will be produced. The present proposal inputs an added value from the technological point of view: it balances research results and real applications. In addition, these sensors incorporate a societal and economic benefit, since they related to low-cost materials and devices for preventive conservation of Historical and Cultural Heritage.
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