Size-tunable copper nanocluster aggregates and their application in hydrogen sulfide sensing on paper-based devices

Po Cheng Chen, Yu Chi Li, Jia Yin Ma, Jia Yu Huang, Chien Fu Chen, Huan Tsung Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

79 Scopus citations

Abstract

Polystyrene sulfonate (PSS), a strong polyelectrolyte, was used to prepare red photoluminescent PSS-penicillamine (PA) copper (Cu) nanoclusters (NC) aggregates, which displayed high selectivity and sensitivity to the detection of hydrogen sulfide (H2S). The size of the PSS-PA-Cu NC aggregates could be readily controlled from 5.5 μm to 173 nm using different concentrations of PSS, which enabled better dispersity and higher sensitivity towards H2S. PSS-PA-Cu NC aggregates provided rapid H2S detection by using the strong Cu-S interaction to quench NC photoluminescence as a sensing mechanism. As a result, a detection limit of 650 nM, which is lower than the maximum level permitted in drinking water by the World Health Organization, was achieved for the analysis of H2S in spring-water samples. Moreover, highly dispersed PSS-PA-Cu NC aggregates could be incorporated into a plate-format paper-based analytical device which enables ultra-low sample volumes (5 μL) and feature shorter analysis times (30 min) compared to conventional solution-based methods. The advantages of low reagent consumption, rapid result readout, limited equipment, and long-term storage make this platform sensitive and simple enough to use without specialized training in resource constrained settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number24882
JournalScientific Reports
Volume6
DOIs
StatePublished - 26 04 2016
Externally publishedYes

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