In this study, a highly selective and sensitive fluorescence assay has been proposed for the determination of copper(II) and cobalt(II) ions in environmental water and toner samples. In the presence of hydrogen peroxide, copper(II) reacted with a new fluorescence reagent Amplex® UltraRed (AUR), forming a fluorescence product only at pH 7.0, while the fluorescence product of cobalt(II) with AUR formed only at pH 9.0. The fluorescence signal obtained was linear with respect to the copper(II) concentration over the range of 1.6–12.0 μM (R2 = 0.988) and was linear with respect to the cobalt(II) concentration over the range of 45.0 nM to 1.0 μM (R2 = 0.992). The limits of detection (at a signal-to-noise ratio of 3) for copper(II) and cobalt(II) were 0.17 μM and 14.0 nM, respectively. Our present approach is simpler, faster, and more cost-effective than other techniques for the detection of copper(II) and cobalt(II) ions in environmental water samples and that of copper(II) ions in toner samples.
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