Ascorbic acid surface modified TiO2-thin layers as a fully integrated analysis system for visual simultaneous detection of organophosphorus pesticides
TiO2 photocatalysis and colorimetric detection are coupled with thin layer chromatography (TLC) for the first time to develop a fully integrated analysis system. Titania@polystyrene hybrid microspheres were surface modified with ascorbic acid, denoted AA-TiO2@PS, and used as the stationary phase for TLC. Because the affinity between AA-TiO2@PS and organophosphorus pesticides (OPs) was different for different species of OPs (including chlopyrifos, malathion, parathion, parathion-methyl, and methamidophos), OPs could be separated simultaneously by the mobile phase in 12.0 min with different Rf values. After surface modification, the UV-vis wavelength response range of AA-TiO2@PS was expanded to 650 nm. Under visible-light irradiation, all of the OPs could be photodegraded to PO43− in 25.0 min. Based on the chromogenic reaction between PO43− and chromogenic agents (ammonium molybdate and ascorbic acid), OPs were quantified from color intensity images using a scanner in conjunction with image processing software. So, AA-TiO2@PS was respectively used as the stationary phase of TLC for efficient separation of OPs, as a photocatalyst for species transformation of phosphorus, and as a colorimetric probe for on-field simultaneous visual detection of OPs in natural water. Linear calibration curves for each OP ranged from 19.3 nmol P L−1 to 2.30 μmol P L−1. This integrated analysis system was simple, inexpensive, easy to operate, and sensitive.