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A novel AIE-based supramolecular polymer gel serves as an ultrasensitive detection and efficient separation material for multiple heavy metal ions

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Abstract

Recently, ultrasensitive stimuli-responsive materials have received extensive attention due to their high sensitivity and wide applications. Herein, we report a novel approach to design ultrasensitive responsive materials by rationally introducing the aggregation-induced emission (AIE) effect into supramolecular polymer gels. According to this approach, by rationally introducing self-assembly moieties and a fluorophore, the obtained gelator DNS can act as an AIEgen; it showed strong AIE after aggregating into the supramolecular polymer gel GDNS. More interestingly, because the aggregation of DNS led to amplification of the detective signal, the AIE-based supramolecular polymer gel GDNS could ultrasensitively detect the heavy metal ions Hg2+, Cu2+, and Fe3+ by a signal amplification mechanism; the lowest detection limits reached 10−11 M. In addition, the xerogel of GDNS could adsorb and separate Hg2+, Cu2+, and Fe3+ from aqueous solution with favourable adsorption properties, and the adsorption rates ranged from 94.70% to 99.37%. Furthermore, the gel GDNS could act as a convenient test kit for Hg2+, Cu2+, and Fe3+ as well as a smart fluorescent display material.

Graphical abstract: A novel AIE-based supramolecular polymer gel serves as an ultrasensitive detection and efficient separation material for multiple heavy metal ions

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 Jun 2019, accepted on 29 Jul 2019 and first published on 30 Jul 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9SM01177C
Soft Matter, 2019, Advance Article

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    A novel AIE-based supramolecular polymer gel serves as an ultrasensitive detection and efficient separation material for multiple heavy metal ions

    Y. Chen, G. Gong, Y. Fan, Q. Zhou, Q. Zhang, H. Yao, Y. Zhang, T. Wei and Q. Lin, Soft Matter, 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9SM01177C

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