Colorimetric Detection of Copper (II) Based on the Self-Assembly of Schiff’s Base-Functionalized Gold Nanoparticles

Yucong Wang, Xiaoli Li, Yingxue Zhou, Chenghui Liu


A simple and highly selective colorimetric sensor for Cu2+ is fabricated in this work based on the Cu2+-induced self-aggregation of gold nanoparticles (GNPs). In this new design, GNPs are first functionalized with cysteamine molecules on their surface through the well-known strong Au-S interaction. Then salicylaldehyde is introduced to link with the cysteamine through a simple Schiff’s base reaction. Since the Schiff’s bases formed on the GNPs surface may serve as efficient and selective complexing reagents for Cu2+, Cu2+ can specifically react with the Schiff’s base complexes and thus result in the self-assembly of GNPs accompanied with color changes. Therefore, a facile and low-cost colorimetric sensor for visual detection of Cu2+ was developed without requirement of any instrument.

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International Journal of Chemistry   ISSN 1916-9698 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9701 (Online)

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