, Volume 388, Issue 5-6, pp 1191-1197
Date: 11 May 2007

Fluorescence-detecting cationic surfactants using luminescent CdTe quantum dots as probes

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A novel fluorescence quenching method for the determination of cationic surfactants (CS), specifically cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB), dodecyltrimethylammonium bromide (DTAB), and cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), has been developed using water-soluble luminescent CdTe quantum dots (QDs) modified with thioglycolic acid (TGA). The possible interference from heavy and transition metals (HTM) has been efficiently eliminated through simple sample treatment with mercapto cotton made in-house. Under optimum conditions, the extent of fluorescence quenching of CdTe QDs is linearly proportional to the concentration of CS from 2.0 × 10−7 to 7.0 × 10−6 mol L−1 with a detection limit of 5.0 × 10−8 mol L−1. The relative standard deviation for 1.0 × 10−6 mol L−1 CTAB is 2.5% (n = 6). The proposed method exhibits high sensitivity and selectivity and furthermore avoided the use of toxic organic solvents and tedious solvent extraction procedures. It has been applied to the determination of trace CS in natural river water and commodity samples with satisfactory results.


Potential interference from heavy and transition metals is eliminated during photoluminescence detection of CS through simple sample pre-treatment with mercapto cotton