Water Soluble CdTe Quantum Dots for Mercury Detection

Tuesday, 7 October 2014
Expo Center, 1st Floor, Center and Right Foyers (Moon Palace Resort)
M. Elnagar, A. H. Sakr, M. Soliman, S. Ebrahim (Alexandria University), and T. M. Abdel-Fattah (Christopher Newport University)
Nanomaterials are becoming one of the most important classes of material research [1]. For example, quantum dots (QDs), especially water soluble QDs,  have been used in many areas of research [2-3]. QDs are nanosize crystals of inorganic semiconductors with diameter in the range of 1-10 nm [4]. At such small sizes (close to or smaller than the dimensions of the exciton Bohr radius within the corresponding bulk material), these nanostructured materials behave differently from bulk solids, because of quantum-confinement effects [4]. As a result of quantum-confinement, they have unique optical and electronic properties such as broad excitation spectra and narrow, symmetric and tunable emission spectra [4]. Therefore, QDs have been used as novel luminescent sensors for chemical and biological species [5-8].

This study fabricated cadmium telluride (CdTe) QDs from aqueous solution containing CdCl2 and Te precursor in presence of thioglycolic acid. The resulted QDs were characterized by using Uv-Vis. spectroscopy, photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The results demonstrated that low concentration, in nano-molar range, of Hg(II) ions could effectively quench the CdTe QDs fluorescence because Hg(II) ions form a stable complex with QDs coating (thioglycolic acid) which allow for an effective electron transfer from the QDs to the Hg(II). A linear response to Hg(II) ions in the concentration range from 0.625 to 8.0 n M was observed and the detection limit of this sensor was 0.625 nM and sensitivity was equal to 53.4 /nM.


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