Sara Fateixa

Junior Researcher

Work experience


Sara Fateixa (SF, born in 1984) graduated in Industrial Chemistry and Management (2006, University of Aveiro-UA), completed her Master's degree in Analytical Chemistry and Quality Control (2007, UA) and obtained her PhD degree in Nanosciences and Nanotechnology (2013, FCT grant 4 years, UA).

Through her scientific research, SF has gained a multidisciplinary background. SF has Master’s level and experience in materials chemistry, semiconductors/metals NPs, microbiology and biochemistry, resulting in 3 papers and 7 posters. A PhD in Nanoscience & Nanotechnology_N&N (FTC grant SFRH/BD/66460/2009) focuses on fabricating metal-based polymer composites (synthetic and natural) applied to SERS biosensing. Being the first Doctor on N&N through the University of Aveiro (UA), her PhD research results in 7 papers (1 as corresponding author), a review paper, 12 posters and 3 oral communications. Her PhD research was awarded by Phantoms Foundation by receiving the Imaginenano–Nanospain Conf. Travel Award/2011 and TNT2012 Fees Award/2012, and the Royal Society of Chemistry selected her critical review for the journal cover.

From 2014 to 2017, SF received an extremely competitive FCT postdoc grant (SFRH/BPD/93547/2013) to begin a research line that combines chemical routes of nanomaterials and Raman spectroscopy applied to sustainable nanotechnologies at the top-level UA-CICECO institute. During that time, SF has developed the following:

  1. i) Textile-based composites for health and environmental applications (water quality monitoring and biosensing); One outcome was a new imaging method for monitoring textile fibers' dyeing, whose publication has deserved international recognition via the WITec Silver Prize (2017) for originality and potential impact on the textile industrial sector.[2]
  2. ii) Vibrational imaging methods on pharmaceutical formulation manufacturing and quality control in collaboration with the University of Coimbra (UC).

Later on, SF became an integrated member of UA through a contracted Junior researcher at NanoLab@UA/CICECO (Dec/2017). Recently, SF was laureated with 20k EUR from the CICECO Fund for Young Researchers for her research idea on 2D hybrid materials as optical sensors for water quality monitoring (Goal 6; 2030 agenda) in collaboration with Prof. Akinwande (TU Austin/USA). In 2023, SF published her first papers as an independent researcher in collaboration with Dr G. Gonçalves (TEMA/UA) and other two in collaboration with Prof. Kumar (Glasgow University/UK) and Prof. R. Böhm (Leipzig University/Germany). The later was selected for inside cover and has garnered attention on the "Advanced Science News" website. (;

SF is currently a Topic Editor of Sensors(ISSN 1424-8220) and a member of the Reviewer Board of Biosensors (ISSN 2079-6374). SF is very active in science outreach and in disseminating NanoLab@UA research in public engagement activities such as radio broadcasting "Os Dias do Futuro-A investigação e a inovação", Facebook and LinkedIn pages updates, and conferences organizations. She was the Pos-doctoral representative on the Scientific Council of the Chemistry Department/UA (2015/2017). 

Scientific Track Record 

SF co-authored 49 papers, 2 review papers, 3 conference papers, 1 book chapter (h-index 15, 740 citations without self- citation, Scopus), 1 national patent (PT 116296). SF has given 12 oral presentations (2 invited, 1 keynote, 1 lecture) and (co)-authored 45 posters.


Special Issue on Sensors

The Special Issue "Recent development in platforms for SERS applications" on Chemosensors, is now open for submission! It's available at the following link:

Scientific Interests 

SF has been working in these three major areas:

I) textiles-based SERS substrates, culminating in synthesising natural and synthetic textile-based composites with water quality monitoring and biosensing potential. For example, SF has coordinated research demonstrating that cotton swabs containing Au NPs act as SERS substrates for lactate detection.

II) Development of new strategies to fabricate 2D hybrid materials for SERS application by combining 2D materials (graphene oxide and MoS2) and MNPs (Ag, Au) or semiconductors (ZnS, ZnO). For example, SF has been developing green liquid-phase exfoliation approaches for 2D MoS2 using biopolymers (e.g. carrageenan). This investigation led to international collaborative research with TU Austin/USA, Stavanger University/Norway, Glasgow University/UK, Leipzig University/Germany and national with TEMA-Centre for Mechanical Technology and Automation/UA.

III) Development of Raman imaging/SERS strategies for biomedical and healthcare applications, focusing on detecting antibiotics or BMs using functionalized materials (e.g. AuNPs bioconjugated with antibodies).

I have also been involved in other areas: quality control of pharmaceutical formulations and identification of polymorphs, bone regeneration (BBone project_ POCI-01-0145-FEDER-029940), photodynamic therapy (Collaboration with University of Padova/Italy and LAQV—Requimte/UA), catalysis (collaborator with University of Lisbon) and hydrogen production (Collaboration with Instituto de Catalisis y Petroleoquímica/Spain). She has also been collaborating with the industry (Bosch and Raiz).

Ongoing Supervisions


Modification of Paper Surface by All-Lignin Coating Formulations

Pinto, PIF; Magina, S; Fateixa, S; Pinto, PCR; Liebner, F; Evtuguin, DV
2022, MATERIALS, 15, 22.

Colloidal dendritic nanostructures of gold and silver for SERS analysis of water pollutants

Fernandes, T; Fateixa, S; Ferro, M; Nogueira, HIS; Daniel-da-Silva, AL; Trindade, T
ISBN: 1873-3166

Water softening using graphene oxide/biopolymer hybrid nanomaterials

Rocha, LS; Nogueira, J; Daniel-da-Silva, AL; Marques, P; Fateixa, S; Pereira, E; Trindade, T
ISBN: 2213-3437

Inkjet Printing of Ag and Polystyrene Nanoparticle Emulsions for the One-Step Fabrication of Hydrophobic Paper-Based Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering Substrates

Martins, NCT; Fateixa, S; Fernandes, T; Nogueira, HIS; Trindade, T
2021, ACS APPLIED NANO MATERIALS, 4, 5, 4484-4495.
ISBN: 2574-0970

Graphene Oxide and Graphene Quantum Dots as Delivery Systems of Cationic Porphyrins: Photo-Antiproliferative Activity Evaluation towards T24 Human Bladder Cancer Cells

Menilli, L; Monteiro, AR; Lazzarotto, S; Morais, FMP; Gomes, ATPC; Moura, NMM; Fateixa, S; Faustino, MAF; Neves, MGPMS; Trindade, T; Miolo, G
2021, PHARMACEUTICS, 13, 9.
ISBN: 1999-4923

Dendrimer-Based Gold Nanostructures for SERS Detection of Pesticides in Water

Fernandes, T; Fateixa, S; Nogueira, HIS; Daniel-da-Silva, AL; Trindade, T
ISBN: 1099-0682

Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering due to a Synergistic Effect on ZnS and Graphene Oxide

Lopes, JL; Fateixa, S; Estrada, AC; Gouveia, JD; Gomes, JRB; Trindade, T
2020, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C, 124, 23, 12742-12751.
ISBN: 1932-7455

A comparative study on emergent pollutants photo-assisted degradation using ruthenium modified titanate nanotubes and nanowires as catalysts

Barrocas, B; Oliveira, MC; Nogueira, HIS; Fateixa, S; Monteiro, OC
ISBN: 1878-7320

An integrated approach for trace detection of pollutants in water using polyelectrolyte functionalized magneto-plasmonic nanosorbents

Pinheiro, PC; Fateixa, S; Daniel-da-Silva, AL; Trindade, T

Can contaminated waters or wastewater be alternative sources for technology-critical elements? The case of removal and recovery of lanthanides

Afonso, EL; Carvalho, L; Fateixa, S; Amorim, CO; Amaral, VS; Vale, C; Pereira, E; Silva, CM; Trindade, T; Lopes, CB
ISBN: 1873-3336

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