Photonic nanosensor for colorimetric detection of metal ions

Ali K. Yetisen*, Yunuen Montelongo, Malik M. Qasim, Haider Butt, Timothy D. Wilkinson, Michael J. Monteiro, Seok Hyun Yun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)
209 Downloads (Pure)


The real-time sensing of metal ions at point of care requires integrated sensors with low energy and sample consumption, reversibility, and rapid recovery. Here, we report a photonic nanosensor that reversibly and quantitatively reports on variation in the concentrations of Pb<sup>2+</sup> and Cu<sup>2+</sup> ions in aqueous solutions (<500 μL) in the visible region of the spectrum (λ<inf>max</inf> ≈ 400-700 nm). A single 6 ns laser pulse (λ = 532 nm) was used to pattern an ∼10 μm thick photosensitive recording medium. This formed periodic AgBr nanocrystal (ø ∼ 5-20 nm) concentrated regions, which produced Bragg diffraction upon illumination with a white light source. The sensor functionalized with 8-hydroxyquinoline allowed sensing through inducing Donnan osmotic pressure and tuning its lattice spacing. The sensor quantitatively measured Pb<sup>2+</sup> and Cu<sup>2+</sup> ion concentrations within the dynamic range of 0.1-10.0 mM with limits of detection of 11.4 and 18.6 μM in under 10 min. The sensor could be reset in 3 min and was reused at least 100 times without compromising its accuracy. The plasmonic nanosensor represents a simple and label-free analytical platform with potential scalability for applications in medical diagnostics and environmental monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5101-5108
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number10
Early online date24 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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