Highly luminescent near-infrared-emitting gold nanoclusters with further natural etching: photoluminescence and Hg2+ detection
- Equal contributors
1 Lab of Photonic Chinese Medicine, College of Biophotonics, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510631, China
2 Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Cancer Nanotechnology, CAS Key Lab of Health Informatics, Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen, 518055, China
Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:348 doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-348Published: 27 June 2012
Highly luminescent near-infrared (NIR)-emitting gold nanoclusters (Au NCs) protected by glutathione with ultra-small size were prepared at high temperature following with a further natural etching at room temperature. The optical and surface properties of Au NCs were monitored by ultraviolet–visible and photoluminescence (PL) spectra, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. The diameter of the etched Au NCs was reduced to approximately 1.35 nm with 30 % PL quantum yield. Interestingly, the PL of Au NCs was decreased obviously by the addition of Hg2+ and increased by the addition of Pb2+ at certain concentration. Our preliminary results illustrated that the highly luminescent NIR-emitting Au NCs would be an alternative probe for the detection of heavy metal ions in water and environmental monitoring.