A selective determination of copper ions in water samples based on the fluorescence quenching of thiol-capped CdTe quantum dots

Piyaluk Nurerk, Proespichaya Kanatharana, Opas Bunkoed
Luminescence: the Journal of Biological and Chemical Luminescence 2016, 31 (2): 515-22
CdTe quantum dots (QDs) capped with different stabilizers, i.e. thioglycolic acid (TGA), 3-mercaptopropionic acid (MPA) and glutathione (GSH) were investigated as fluorescent probes for the determination of Cu(2+). The stabilizer was shown to play an important role in both the sensitivity and selectivity for the determination of Cu(2+). TGA-capped CdTe QDs showed the highest sensitivity, followed by the MPA and GSH-capped CdTe QDs, respectively. The TGA- and MPA-capped CdTe QDs were not selective for Cu(2+) that was affected by Ag(+). The GSH-capped CdTe QDs were insensitive to Ag(+) and were used to determine Cu(2+) in water samples. Under optimal conditions, quenching of the fluorescence intensity (F0/F) increased linearly with the concentration of Cu(2+) over a range of 0.10-4.0 µg/mL and the detection limit was 0.06 µg/mL. The developed method was successfully applied to the determination of Cu(2+) in water samples. Good recoveries of 93-104%, with a relative standard deviation of < 6% demonstrated that the developed simple method was accurate and reliable. The quenching mechanisms were also described.

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