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Anal Chem. 2017 Jan 17;89(2):1346-1352. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.6b04407. Epub 2016 Dec 22.

Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxane Polymer-Caged Silver Nanoparticle as a Smart Colorimetric Probe for the Detection of Hydrogen Sulfide.

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Research Center for Analytical Sciences, Department of Chemistry, College of Sciences, Northeastern University , Box 332, Shenyang, Liaoning 110819, China.


The rapid and accurate detection of hydrogen sulfide is of great concern due to its unique role on environmental pollution and signal transmission in physiological systems. Herein, we report a smart colorimetric probe for the selective detection of H2S. The probe is prepared via a surfactant-free route with cross-linked polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) polymer cage as capping ligand and reducing agent under microwave irradiation, called poly-POSS-formaldehyde polymer (PPF) cage-AgNPs or PPF-AgNPs for short. The caged silver nanoparticles are well-dispersed with narrow size distribution within 6.0-8.4 nm. Chloride ions and aldehyde groups in PPF make the nucleation and growth of Ag nanoparticles accomplished within a very short time of 1 min. The positively charged PPF-AgNPs exhibit excellent selectivity to H2S against other anionic species and thiols due to the specific Ag-H2S interaction, where the favorable protection effect of PPF polymer cage from the nanoparticle aggregation is demonstrated. The colorimetric probe presents a quick response to H2S (<3 min) and favorable sensitivity within a linear range of 0.7-10 μM along with a detection limit of 0.2 μM. The probe is well demonstrated by analysis of H2S in various water and biological samples.

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