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Detection of Mercury(II) by Quantum Dot/DNA/Gold Nanoparticle Ensemble Based Nanosensor Via Nanometal Surface Energy Transfer

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journal contribution
posted on 15.09.2011, 00:00 by Ming Li, Qiaoyi Wang, Xiaodong Shi, Lawrence A. Hornak, Nianqiang Wu
An ultrasensitive fluorescent sensor based on the quantum dot/DNA/gold nanoparticle ensemble has been developed for detection of mercury(II). DNA hybridization occurs when Hg(II) ions are present in the aqueous solution containing the DNA-conjugated quantum dots (QDs) and Au nanoparticles. As a result, the QDs and the Au nanoparticles are brought into the close proximity, which enables the nanometal surface energy transfer (NSET) from the QDs to the Au nanoparticles, quenching the fluorescence emission of the QDs. This nanosensor exhibits a limit of detection of 0.4 and 1.2 ppb toward Hg(II) in the buffer solution and in the river water, respectively. The sensor also shows high selectivity toward the Hg(II) ions.