Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 33(8), 925 (2017).

Colorimetric Method for the Detection of Mercury Ions Based on Gold Nanoparticles and Mercaptophenyl Boronic Acid
Yafang KONG,* Jianguo SHEN,** and Aiping FAN*
*School of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, P. R. China
**School of Electronic Information Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, P. R. China
In the present study, we found that phenylboronic acid derivatives including benzene-1,4-diboronic acid (BDBA) and mercaptophenyl boronic acid (MPBA) can induce the aggregation of citrate-capped gold nanoparticles (Au NPs). However, the speed of Au NP aggregation induced by MPBA was much faster than that of BDBA. The reaction between MPBA and Hg2+ ions resulted in the formation of MPBA-Hg2+-MPBA, which was similar to BDBA having two free boronic acid groups. Based on the above phenomenon, a sensitive and selective colorimetric method for the detection of mercury ions (Hg2+) in aqueous solution was developed. The linear range for the detection of Hg2+ ions was from 0.08 to 1.25 μmol dm−3 with a detection limit of 37 nmol dm−3. The strategy offered excellent selectivity toward Hg2+ against other metal ions. Meanwhile, this simple and cost-effective sensor was applied to determine the Hg2+ in the lake water samples with satisfactory recoveries (91.3 – 100.7%).