Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 316, Issue 3, pp 1011–1019 | Cite as

Sensitive and selective fluorescence detection of aqueous uranyl ions using water-soluble CdTe quantum dots

  • Xinfeng Chen
  • Kui Zhang
  • Huan Yu
  • Long Yu
  • Hongwei Ge
  • Ji Yue
  • Tianxin Hou
  • Abdullah M. Asiri
  • Hadi M. Marwani
  • Suhua Wang


Herein we report a fluorescent method for sensitive and selective detection of uranyl ions using CdTe quantum dots functionalized with mercaptopropionic acid, which the fluorescence of the quantum dots could be quantitatively quenched through electron transfer mechanism. The detection limit of the method was estimated to be 4 nM, less than the maximum allowed content of 130 nM for uranyl in drinking water defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Furthermore, the probe was successfully applied in detection of uranyl ions in real samples, demonstrating its potential practical applications for monitoring of uranyl ions in environment.


Cadmium telluride quantum dots Uranyl ions Fluorescence quenching Electron transfer mechanism Masking agent 



The study was financially supported from the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFA0207003), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21475134, 91439101, and 21775042) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2016ZZD06).

Supplementary material

10967_2018_5799_MOESM1_ESM.docx (119 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 118 kb)


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environment and Chemical EngineeringNorth China Electric Power UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Intelligent MachinesChinese Academy of SciencesHefeiChina
  3. 3.Chemistry Department, Faculty of ScienceKing Abdulaziz UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia

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