Plasmonic hot electron transfer-induced multicolor MoO3-x-based chromogenic system for visual and colorimetric determination of silver(I)

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A plasmonic hot electron transfer-induced multicolor chromogenic system is described for label-free visual colorimetric determination of silver(I). The chromogenic system consists of plasmonic MoO3-x nanosheets with oxygen vacancies and Ag(I). Under white light-emitting diode (LED) excitation, energetic hot hole-electron pairs are formed on the surface of the blue MoO3-x nanosheets. The resulting hot electrons are transferred to Ag(I) upon which it becomes reduced. This results in the generation of yellow silver nanoparticles. Simultaneously, the hot holes lead to the oxidation of the MoO3-x nanosheets to yield colorless MoO3 nanosheets. Similarly, energetic hot hole-electron pairs can also be generated on the surface of AgNPs under white LED irradiation, which contributes to the reduction of Ag(I) and the oxidation of MoO3-x. Overall, a colorful transition from blue to green and finally to yellow can be observed. This multicolor chromogenic system was applied to the colorimetric determination of Ag(I) in the 33–200 μM concentration range and a 0.66 μM limit of detection, at analytical wavelengths of 430 and 760 nm. The method also is amenable to semi-quantitative visual determination of Ag(I).

Schematic representation of plasmonic hot electron transfer-induced multicolor MoO3-x-based chromogenic system for visual and colorimetric determination of silver(I).

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The support of this research by the NSFC (21705134), Longshan Scholars Programme of Southwest University of Science and Technology (Grant No. 17LZX449 and 18LZX204), and China Aerodynamics Research and Development Center Foundation (Grant No. JPD20170142) is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Yi He.

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Du, J., Wang, J., Deng, Y. et al. Plasmonic hot electron transfer-induced multicolor MoO3-x-based chromogenic system for visual and colorimetric determination of silver(I). Microchim Acta 187, 120 (2020) doi:10.1007/s00604-020-4108-z

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