Mercury (Hg) is an environmental pollutant which is detrimental to the health of living beings due to the toxicity in its all oxidation states. To control mercury pollution development of low cost, efficient and highly sensitive prototype mercury sensor remains a challenge. In the present work, we have proposed a low-cost prototype device based on silver nanoparticle-impregnated poly(vinyle alcohol) (PVA-Ag-NPs) nanocomposite thin film for mercury detection. The thin film, fabricated through a facile protocol, is shown to be a fast, efficient, and selective sensor for Hg2+ in aqueous medium with a detection limit of 10 ppb. We have utilized the aggregation and amalgamation of Ag-NPs with Hg2+ to develop the low-cost, highly efficient and feasible prototype mercury sensor. In the presence of Hg2+, the yellowish thin film turned into colourless due to the loss of intense surface plasmon resonance (SPR) absorption band of the silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) through aggregation and amalgamation with mercury. The developed sensor has high selectivity for Hg2+ ions over a wide range of other competing heavy metal ions, generally present in water of natural sources. The sensor response is found to be linear over the Hg2+ ion concentration regime from 10 ppb to 5 ppm. The developed sensor has shown to determine a trace Hg2+ ions in real water samples. Finally, using the proposed technique, we have developed a simple and inexpensive prototype device for monitoring in field environmental mercury pollution.
Water, Air, Soil Pollution – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 3, 2017
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