Facile Colorimetric Detection of Silver Ions with Picomolar Sensitivity

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© 2017 American Chemical Society. Although various colorimetric methods have been actively developed for the detection of Ag+ ions because of their simplicity and reliability, the limits of detection of these methods are confined to the nanomolar (nM) level. Here, we demonstrate a novel strategy for colorimetric Ag+ detection with picomolar (pM) sensitivity. This strategy involves the use of poly(vinylpyrrolidone)- (PVP-) capped Pt nanocubes as artificial peroxidases that can effectively generate a colored signal by catalyzing the oxidation of peroxidase substrates. In the presence of Ag+ ions, the colored signal generated by these Pt cubes is greatly diminished because of the specific and efficient inhibition of Ag+ toward the peroxidase-like activity of the Pt cubes. This colorimetric method can achieve an ultralow detection limit of 80 pM and a wide dynamic range of 10-2-104 nM. To the best of our knowledge, the method presented in this work shows the highest sensitivity for Ag+ detection among all reported colorimetric methods. Moreover, this method also features simplicity and rapidness as it can be conducted at room temperature, in aqueous solution, and requires only ∼6 min. (Graph Presented).

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Analytical Chemistry