Microchimica Acta

, 186:41 | Cite as

Alginate capped and manganese doped ZnS quantum dots as a phosphorescent probe for time-resolved detection of copper(II)

  • Wen-Sheng ZouEmail author
  • Ming-Yue Deng
  • Ya-Qin Wang
  • Xiaoli ZhaoEmail author
  • Wei-Hua LiEmail author
  • Xian-Huai Huang
Original Paper


A method is described for the detection of Cu(II). It is based on the use of a room-temperature phosphorescent probe consisting of alginate-capped and manganese(II)-doped ZnS quantum dots. The carboxy groups at the surface of the probe strongly coordinate Cu(II) to form a complex. As a result, the 4T1-6A1 transition of the Mn(II) ions in the probe is quenched, and the long decay time (~2.1 ms in the unquenched state) is accordingly reduced. At excitation/emission wavelengths of 316/590 nm and a delay time of 0.1 ms, the probe shows a linear response in the 0.01 to 12 μM Cu(II) concentration range. The detection limit is 6.0 nM and the RSD is 3.2% (for n = 5).

Graphical Abstract

A two-step procedure is described to synthesize alginate capped manganese doped ZnS QDs. These coordinate with Cu(II) to form an absorbent complex and can be used as a phosphorescent probe for time-resolved detection of Cu(II).


Room-temperature phosphorescence (RTP) Alginate Stokes shift Long lifetime 



This work was supported by Natural Science Foundation of China (21506002, 41673131). The authors also thanked Anhui key project of research and development plan (1704a0902006), major science and technology project of Anhui Province (17030801028) and major project of Department of Education of Anhui province (KJ2018A0513) for financial supports.

Compliance with ethical standards

The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

604_2018_3165_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.1 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 1.13 mb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Anhui Key Laboratory of Water Pollution Control and Wastewater Reuse, and Key Laboratory of Functional Molecule Design and Interface ProcessAnhui Jianzhu UniversityHefeiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk AssessmentChinese Research Academy of Environmental SciencesBeijingChina

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