Jump to main content
Jump to site search


Dual-emitting zein-protected gold nanoclusters for ratiometric fluorescence detection of Hg2+/Ag+ ions in both aqueous solution and self-assembled protein film

Author affiliations

Abstract

The use of plant protein for the preparation of fluorescent gold nanoclusters (FGCs) is highly desirable owing to its abundance, low-cost, sustainability, and hypoallergenicity compared with protein from animals or microorganisms. In this work, zein, a protein derived from corn, was used as both a protecting ligand and reducing agent for FGC synthesis. Owing to the unique solubility of the protein, the zein-protected FGCs (Z-FGCs) can be separated from unreacted HAuCl4 and NaOH by simply mixing with an acidic buffer for several minutes. The Z-FGCs exhibit dual emission at 442 and 655 nm under excitation at 365 nm. Upon the introduction of Ag+/Hg2+ ions, the Z-FGC emission at 655 nm can be significantly enhanced/quenched while leaving the fluorescence at 442 nm almost unchanged. Accordingly, Z-FGCs can be employed as fluorescent ratiometric probes for the detection of Ag+/Hg2+ ions. The Z-FGC probes function well under a broad range of pH (pH 6–10) and temperatures (20–60 °C) and can thus be applied to determine Ag+/Hg2+ ions in tap water. Furthermore, the self-assembled film-forming property of zein is preserved after the FGC synthesis, which allows for the facile preparation of Z-FGC films for real-time visual sensing of Ag+/Hg2+ ions.

Graphical abstract: Dual-emitting zein-protected gold nanoclusters for ratiometric fluorescence detection of Hg2+/Ag+ ions in both aqueous solution and self-assembled protein film

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 08 Jul 2019, accepted on 06 Aug 2019 and first published on 08 Aug 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9NJ03524A
New J. Chem., 2019, Advance Article

  •   Request permissions

    Dual-emitting zein-protected gold nanoclusters for ratiometric fluorescence detection of Hg2+/Ag+ ions in both aqueous solution and self-assembled protein film

    B. Duan, M. Wang, Y. Li, S. Jiang, Y. Liu and Z. Huang, New J. Chem., 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9NJ03524A

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements