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Anal Chim Acta. 2013 Apr 3;770:140-6. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2013.01.042. Epub 2013 Jan 28.

Facile preparation of glutathione-stabilized gold nanoclusters for selective determination of chromium (III) and chromium (VI) in environmental water samples.

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State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China.


A novel method for selective determination of Cr(III) and Cr(VI) in environmental water samples was developed based on target-induced fluorescence quenching of glutathione-stabilized gold nanoclusters (GSH-Au NCs). Fluorescent GSH-Au NCs were synthesized by a one-step approach employing GSH as reducing/protecting reagent. It was found that Cr(III) and Cr(VI) showed pH-dependent fluorescence quenching capabilities for GSH-Au NCs, and thus selective determination of Cr(III) and Cr(VI) could be achieved at different pHs. Addition of EDTA was able to effectively eliminate the interferences from other metal ions, leading to a good selectivity for this method. Under optimized conditions, Cr(III) showed a linear range of 25-3800 μg L(-1) and a limit of detection (LOD) of 2.5 μg L(-1). The Cr(VI) ion demonstrated a linear range of 5-500 μg L(-1) and LOD of 0.5 μg L(-1). The run-to-run relative standard deviations (n=5) for Cr(III) and Cr(VI) were 3.9% and 2.8%, respectively. The recoveries of Cr(III) and Cr(VI) in environmental water samples were also satisfactory (76.3-116%). This method, with its simplicity, low cost, high selectivity and sensitivity, could be used as a promising tool for chromium analysis in environmental water samples.

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