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A Turn-On Fluorescence-Based Fibre Optic Sensor for the Detection of Mercury

Nguyen, T. H., Sun, T. ORCID: 0000-0003-3861-8933 & Grattan, K. T. V. ORCID: 0000-0003-2250-3832 (2019). A Turn-On Fluorescence-Based Fibre Optic Sensor for the Detection of Mercury. Sensors, 19(9), 2142. doi: 10.3390/s19092142


The design, development, and evaluation of an optical fibre sensor for the detection of Hg2+ in aqueous media are discussed in detail in this paper. A novel fluorescent polymeric material for Hg2+ detection, based on a coumarin derivative (acting as the fluorophore) and an azathia crown ether moiety (acting as the mercury ion receptor), has been synthesized. The fluorophore was covalently immobilized onto the fibre surface by polymerisation using the ion imprinting technique and exhibited a significant increase in fluorescence intensity in response to Hg2+ via a photoinduced electron transfer (PET) mechanism. The sensor provided a response over a concentration range of 0–28 µM with an acceptable response rate of around 11 min and a recovery rate of around 30 min in a Tris-EDTA buffer solution. A detection limit of 0.15 µM was obtained with a possibility of improvement by changing the thickness of the polymer layer and using a more sensitive detector. High-quality performance is seen through a high selectivity for Hg2+ over other metal ions, excellent photo-stability and reversibility which was also demonstrated, making this type of sensor potentially well suited for in-situ monitoring of mercury in the environment.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: optical fibre sensor; fluorescent sensor; mercury sensor; ion imprinted polymer; coumarin dye
Subjects: T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering > Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

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