The halide anions are essential for supporting life. Therefore, halide anion analyses are of paramount importance. For this reason, we have performed both qualitative and quantitative ana- lyses of halides (chloride, bromide, iodide) using the Tl(III) complex of azodye, 4-(2-pyridylazo)re- sorcinol (PAR), a potential new chemical reagent/sensor that utilizes the substitution reaction whereas the Tl(III)PAR complex reacts with a halide to yield a more stable thallium(III)-halide while releasing the PAR ligand in a process accompanied by color change of the solution. The experimental conditions (e.g., pH, ratio metal ion-to-ligand ratio, etc.) for the substitution reaction between the metal complex and a halide were optimized to achieve increased sensitivity and a lower limit of detection (chloride 7 mM, bromide 0.15 mM, iodide 0.05 mM). It is demonstrated that this single chemosensor can, due to release of colored PAR ligand and the associated analyte-specific changes in the UV/VIS spectra, be employed for a multicomponent analysis of mixtures of anions (chloride + bromide, chloride + iodide, bromide + iodide). The spectrophotometric data evaluated by artificial neural networks (ANNs) enable distinguishing among the halides and to determine halide species concentrations in a mixture. The Tl(III)-PAR complex was also used to construct sensor arrays utilizing a standard 96-well plate format where the output was recorded at several wavelengths (up to 7) using a conventional plate reader. It is shown that the data obtained using a digital scanner employing only three different input channels may also be successfully used for a subsequent ANN analysis. The results of all approaches utilized for data evaluation were similar. To increase the practical utility of the chemosensor, we have developed a test paper strip indicator useful for routine naked-eye visual determination of halides. This test can also be used for halide anion determination in solutions using densitometer. The methodology described in this paper can be used for a simple, inexpensive, and fast routine analysis both in a laboratory as well as in a field setting.
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