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A fluorescence energy transfer sensor for metal ions

Holmes, A.S. and Lopez, M.A. and Rolinski, O.J. and Birch, D.J.S. and Darbyshire, M. (1995) A fluorescence energy transfer sensor for metal ions. In: Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering. SPIE, pp. 171-181. ISBN 0819417351

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There is presently considerable interest world-wide in fabricating sensors based on miniaturized analytical techniques encapsulated in sensing elements with an inbuilt intelligence capable of distinguishing between different analytes. For example, the measurement of metal ion concentration in fluid media is a common requirement when monitoring many types of industrial processes and chemical reactions. In addition there is an increasing requirement for the remote determination of trace elements in water.We report a new type of remote optical sensor of metal ions in solution based on fluorescence lifetime quenching due to dipoledipole energy transfer across a polymer-water interface. Ion selectivity is provided by spectral overlap between the sensor fluorescence and metal ion absorption. The sensor is demonstrated in the detection of cobalt ions in water at levels down to 17 fig.