This work reports on the implementation of gold nanorods (AuNRs) in headspace solvent microextraction for colorimetric determination of volatile analyte derivatives in a single drop. The exposure of AuNRs to both H2Se and elemental mercury (Hg0) results in a shift of the longitudinal plasmonic band, unlike a number of volatiles. Accordingly, a method is reported for the determination of Hg0 with potential applicability to the determination of thiomersal (sodium ethylmercurithiosalicylate). It is based on the photochemical decomposition of thiomersal into Hg(II) and subsequent exposure of AuNRs-containing microdrop to in situ generated Hg0. Colorimetric analysis of the enriched drop was carried out without dilution by means of a cuvetteless microvolume UV-vis spectrometer. Under optimal conditions, the limit of detection was 0.5 ng mL−1 (as Hg). The repeatability, expressed as relative standard deviation, was 8.4% (for n = 10). AuNRs exposed to increasing concentrations of the analyte were characterized by means of transmission electron microscopy and UV-vis spectrophotometry to ascertain the mechanism of detection. The method was finally applied to the determination of thiomersal in various pharmaceutical samples and showed quantitative recoveries.
Microchimica Acta – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 13, 2018
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