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Issue 9, 2012
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Measurement of gold and sulfur mass fractions in l-cysteine-modified gold nanoparticles by ICP-DRC-MS after acid digestion: validation and uncertainty of results

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Abstract

Measurement of mass fractions of trace element sulfur and main element gold in L-cysteine-modified gold nanoparticles was performed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry with dynamic reaction cell (DRC) technology after aqua regia digestion. Sulfur concentration was measured at m/z 48 as 32S16O+ in a reaction cell with O2 to reduce the effect of polyatomic interferences at m/z 32. Following a study of the main interferences affecting the signal from 32S16O+, optimization of instrument parameters by an experimental design along with an investigation of the effect of aqua regia in matrix on the signal-to-background ratio of 32S16O+ were carried out to improve the detection limit for sulfur. Under the optimum experimental conditions the detection limits were 1.43 μg L−1 for S and 0.033 μg L−1 for Au. 45Sc was selected as the internal standard for measurement of 32S16O+. The presence of Au at high concentrations showed a negligible effect on the intensity of 32S16O+ and 45Sc+ under DRC mode. The method was in-house validated and the combined uncertainty was estimated according to the Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement. Preliminary studies show that the method may be transferred to other ICP-MS systems by re-optimizing cell gas flow (e.g. 1.8 mL min−1 used for NexION 300D). X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirmed that a self-assembled monolayer of cysteine was formed on the surface of colloidal gold nanoparticles via sulfur-to-gold bonding.

Graphical abstract: Measurement of gold and sulfur mass fractions in l-cysteine-modified gold nanoparticles by ICP-DRC-MS after acid digestion: validation and uncertainty of results

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Article information


Submitted
20 Jul 2011
Accepted
16 May 2012
First published
16 May 2012

J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2012,27, 1465-1473
Article type
Paper

Measurement of gold and sulfur mass fractions in L-cysteine-modified gold nanoparticles by ICP-DRC-MS after acid digestion: validation and uncertainty of results

W. Jiang, D. B. Hibbert, G. Moran and R. Akter, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2012, 27, 1465
DOI: 10.1039/C2JA30103B

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