Modified Gold Nanoparticles for the Temperature-Dependent Colorimetric Detection of Mercury and Methylmercury

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A method for temperature-dependent sensing of both inorganic mercury (Hg2+) and organic methyl mercury (MeHg+) with the same gold nanoparticle (AuNP) system was achieved. The AuNPs were functionalised with a thymine moiety and aggregation was achieved through binding of a single mercuric species between two thymine molecules on the surface of the nanoparticles. Both Hg2+ and MeHg+ caused a significant change in the visible absorbance spectrum, resulting in a colour change from red to blue. Significantly, the two mercuric species produced different hues of blue, distinguishable by eye. This method could lead to the development of a method for tandem detection of Hg2+ and MeHg+ in environmental samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2088-2091
Number of pages4
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2018


  • colorimetric assay
  • gold nanoparticle
  • mercury(II)
  • methyl mercury
  • thymine

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