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Article

Nanostructured and Photochromic Material for Environmental Detection of Metal Ions

1
Laboratório de Sistemas Poliméricos e Supramoleculares, Instituto de Física e Química, Universidade Federal de Itajubá, Itajubá 37500-903, Brazil
2
School of Biological Sciences and Engineering, Yachay Tech University, San Miguel de Urcuquí, Ibarra EC 100150, Ecuador
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ashok Kakkar
Molecules 2019, 24(23), 4243; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24234243
Received: 10 October 2019 / Revised: 11 November 2019 / Accepted: 19 November 2019 / Published: 21 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Nanotechnology)
Compared to conventional spectroscopy or chromatography analysis, chemical sensing based on colorimetric changes offers an alternative to monitor potential metal hazards in aqueous environment through rapid and low-cost colorimetric changes which can be easily interpreted. In this work poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG 2000) was modified with a carboxylic acid spiropyran (SPCOOH) derivate by Steglich esterification (PEGSP2). PEGSP2 was incorporated into a poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) polymer matrix by electrospinning technique to produce nanofibers with photochromic properties. Spectroscopic analysis, thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were used to characterize PEGSP2. Drop shape analysis (DSA) and scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) were used to characterize the electrospun (ES) nanofibers morphology. Several metal ions solutions relevant to environmental hazards were prepared to be spotted on the surface of ES nanofibers for photochromatic sensing. Among them, Mg2+, Ca2+, Zn2+, Cd2+, La3+, and Er3+ demonstrated orange fluorescence when exposed to UV light. ES nanofibers also presented higher wettability when compared to a pure PCL polymer matrix, which is critical for sensitivity. Eighteen metals ions could be detected on the electrospun material. Additionally, among all metal ions Fe3+ was the most sensitive one in solution, in a µmol L−1 range. View Full-Text
Keywords: electrospinning; polymer; nanofibers; sensors; spiropyran; metal ions electrospinning; polymer; nanofibers; sensors; spiropyran; metal ions
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MDPI and ACS Style

Machado, R.C.L.; Alexis, F.; De Sousa, F.B. Nanostructured and Photochromic Material for Environmental Detection of Metal Ions. Molecules 2019, 24, 4243. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24234243

AMA Style

Machado RCL, Alexis F, De Sousa FB. Nanostructured and Photochromic Material for Environmental Detection of Metal Ions. Molecules. 2019; 24(23):4243. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24234243

Chicago/Turabian Style

Machado, Raphael C.L., Frank Alexis, and Frederico B. De Sousa 2019. "Nanostructured and Photochromic Material for Environmental Detection of Metal Ions" Molecules 24, no. 23: 4243. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24234243

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