Colorimetric Sensor Array Based on Gold Nanoparticles and Amino Acids for Identification of Toxic Metal Ions in Water

2014-11-12T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Gulsu Sener Lokman Uzun Adil Denizli
A facile colorimetric sensor array for detection of multiple toxic heavy metal ions (Hg<sup>2+</sup>, Cd<sup>2+</sup>, Fe<sup>3+</sup>, Pb<sup>2+</sup>, Al<sup>3+</sup>, Cu<sup>2+</sup>, and Cr<sup>3+</sup>) in water is demonstrated using 11-mercaptoundecanoic acid (MUA)-capped gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and five amino acids (lysine, cysteine, histidine, tyrosine, and arginine). The presence of amino acids (which have functional groups that can form complexes with metal ions and MUA) regulates the aggregation of MUA-capped particles; it can either enhance or diminish the particle aggregation. The combinatorial colorimetric response of all channels of the sensor array (i.e., color change in each of AuNP and amino acid couples) enables naked-eye discrimination of all of the metal ions tested in this study with excellent selectivity.