Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Fiber-optic fluorescing sensors for nitrate and nitrite detection


Fiber-optic sensors allow remote analyses of chemical substances and they now find many applications in chemistry and biology [1,2]. The purpose of this short report is to give our first results in the development of optical-fiber chemical sensors. Among the numerous known spectrometric methods, we chose the fluorometric one, generally described as a suitable method for determining substances at the parts per million or parts per billion level, with the objective of analyzing nitrate and nitrite anions, using modifications of the fluorescence emission of suitable dyes. The detection of nitrates is based on the irreversible nitration of fluorescein, which leads to a subsequent inhibition of fluorescence emission [3]; determination of nitrites corresponds to their addition on 2,3-diaminonaphthalene, which on the contrary, improves the fluorescence emission [4]. To set up simple instrumentation, we are developing fiber-optic sensors. This consists of (i) realizing an extrinsic active optical fiber by chemical linkage of suitable fluorescent dyes on silica fiber involving silanization reaction (APTES) and chemical methods and (ii) designing an optical device which is appropriate for measurements with optical fibers. The threshold of detection, coating efficiency, and stability with time are presented.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.

    O. S. Wolfbeis (1991) inFiber Optic Chemical Sensors and Biosensors, Vols. 1 and 2, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

  2. 2.

    G. Boisdé (1990)Entropie 155, 28–42.

  3. 3.

    H. D. Axelrod, J. E. Bonelli and J. P. Lodge Jr. (1970)Anal. Chim. Acta. 51, 21–24.

  4. 4.

    J. H. Wiersma (1970)Anal. Lett. 3, 123–132.

  5. 5.

    M. R. S. Fuh, L. W. Burgess, T. Hirschfeld, G. D. Christian, and F. Wang (1987)Analyst 112, 1159–1163.

  6. 6.

    A. H. Miguel and R. D. Braun (1974)J. Chem. Educ. 51, 682–683.

  7. 7.

    C. R. Sawicki (1971)Anal. Lett. 4, 761–775.

  8. 8.

    P. Damiani and G. Burini (1986)Talanta 33, 649–652.

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Mahieuxe, B., Carré, M.C., Viriot, M.L. et al. Fiber-optic fluorescing sensors for nitrate and nitrite detection. J Fluoresc 4, 7–10 (1994).

Download citation

Key words

  • Fluorescence
  • fiber-optic
  • nitrate
  • nitrite
  • water pollutants