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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2018 Aug 1;10(30):25737-25743. doi: 10.1021/acsami.8b04414. Epub 2018 Jul 17.

Ultrasensitive Au Nanooctahedron Micropinball Sensor for Mercury Ions.

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Department of Physics and Key Laboratory of Artificial Micro- and Nano-structures of Ministry of Education, Hubei Nuclear Solid Physics Key Laboratory and Center for Ion Beam Application , Wuhan University , Wuhan 430072 , P. R. China.


Mercury ion (Hg2+) is one of the most toxic heavy metals that has severe adverse effects on the environment and human organs even at very low concentrations. Therefore, highly sensitive and selective detection of Hg2+ is desirable. Here, we introduce plasmonic micropinball constructed from Au nanooctahedron as a three-dimensional surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) platform, enabling ultrasensitive detection of trace Hg2+ ions. Typically, strong SERS signals could be obtained when the single-stranded DNA structure converts to the hairpin structure in the presence of Hg2+ ions, due to the formation of thymine (T)-Hg2+-T. As a result, the detection limit of Hg2+ ions is as low as 1 × 10-16 M, which is far below compared to that reported for conventional analytical strategies. Moreover, to achieve rapid multiple detection, we combine the micropinball sensors with microflow tube online detection. Our platform prevents cross-talk and tube contamination, allowing multiassay analysis, rapid identification, and quantification of different analytes and concentrations across separate phases.


Au nanooctahedron; mercury detection; plasmonic micropinball; surface-enhanced Raman scattering


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