Reproducible Design for the Optical Screening and Sensing of Hg(II) Ions
Received: 1 April 2014 / Revised: 22 September 2014 / Accepted: 25 September 2014 / Published: 24 October 2014
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We fabricated silica nanotubes with hexagonally ordered mesopores (6 nm) inside a membrane disc with a uniform channel neck size of 200 nm and a longitudinal thickness of 60 μm to design an optical sensor membrane (OSM) for the screening and sensing of
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We fabricated silica nanotubes with hexagonally ordered mesopores (6 nm) inside a membrane disc with a uniform channel neck size of 200 nm and a longitudinal thickness of 60 μm to design an optical sensor membrane (OSM) for the screening and sensing of extremely toxic Hg(II) ions. The optical detection and quantitative recognition of Hg(II) ions in water were conducted even at trace concentrations without the need for sophisticated instruments. The OSM design was based on the physical interaction of a responsive organic probe
with silica pore surfaces
followed by strong and selective binding Hg(II)–probe interactions under specific sensing conditions, particularly at pH 5. Ultra-trace concentrations of Hg(II) ions were easily detected with the naked eye using the OSM. The remarkable ion spectral response of Hg(II) ion–OSM ensured the excellent quantification of the OSM for Hg(II) ion sensing over a wide range of concentrations with a detection limit of 1.75 × 10−9
M. This result indicated that low concentrations of Hg(II) ions can be detected with a high sensitivity. One of the key issues of OSM is the Hg(II) ion-selective workability even in the presence of high doses of competitive matrices and species. The OSM design showed significant Hg(II) ion-sensing capability despite the number of reuse/recycles using simple decomplexation. Given its high selectivity, fast response, and sensitivity, the OSM could be developed into a specific Hg(II) ion-sensing kit in aqueous solutions.
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanosensors