Microchimica Acta

, 185:211 | Cite as

An “off-on” colorimetric and fluorometric assay for Cu(II) based on the use of NaYF4:Yb(III),Er(III) upconversion nanoparticles functionalized with branched polyethylenimine

  • Hong Shao
  • Dan Xu
  • Yadan Ding
  • Xia Hong
  • Yichun Liu
Original Paper

Abstract

The authors describe an “off-on” colorimetric and fluorometric assay for the determination of Cu(II). It is based on the use of upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) of type NaYF4:Yb(III),Er(III) that were functionalized with branched polyethylenimine (BPEI). A color change from colorless to blue occurs within 2 s after addition of Cu(II) to a solution of the modified UCNPs. The color change can be visually detected at Cu(II) concentrations down to 80 μM. The upconversion fluorescence of the modified UCNPs, measured at excitation wavelength of 980 nm, is reduced due to the predominant inner filter effect caused by the formation of the BPEI-Cu(II) complex. Normalized fluorescence intensity drops linearly in the 50 nM to 10 μM Cu(II) concentration range, and the fluorometric detection limit is 45 nM. Both the color and the fluorescence are recovered on addition of EDTA. Excellent selectivity over other metal ions and anions is achieved.

Graphical abstract

Upconversion nanoparticles of type NaYF4:Yb,Er were functionalized with branched polyethylenimine (UCNP/BPEI) and used in an “off-on” colorimetric and fluorometric assay for Cu(II). The upconversion fluorescence is selectively quenched on addition of Cu(II), and this is accompanied by a rapid colorless-to-blue color switch. The colorimetric changes and quenched fluorescence can be reversed by adding EDTA.

Keywords

Multimode detection Absorption spectrum Upconversion quenching BPEI-Cu(II) complex Inner filter effect 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants No. 51272040 and 11604043), Thirteenth Five-Year Science and Technology Research Project of Education Department of Jilin Province (No. JJKH20170910KJ), the 111 project (No. B13013), and Project funded by China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2017 M611294).

Compliance with ethical standards

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

604_2018_2740_MOESM1_ESM.doc (2.1 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 2118 kb)

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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hong Shao
    • 1
  • Dan Xu
    • 1
  • Yadan Ding
    • 1
  • Xia Hong
    • 1
  • Yichun Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of UV-Emitting Materials and Technology, Ministry of EducationNortheast Normal UniversityChangchunPeople’s Republic of China

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