A Sensor Array for the Nanomolar Detection of Azo Dyes In Water

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Polymer Science and Engineering


Azo dyes are ubiquitous pollutants that contaminate water supplies and threaten human, biota, and ecosystem health. Their detection and discrimination are a considerable challenge owing to the numerous structural, chemical, and optical similarities between dyes, complexity of the wastewater in which they are found, and low environmental concentrations. Here, we demonstrate that the inner filter effect (IFE), in combination with conjugated polymer array-based sensing, offers a rapid approach for the quantitative profiling of these pollutants. The array was constructed using three anionic conjugated polyelectrolytes whose varying spectroscopic properties led to distinct IFE patterns in the presence of various dyes. These unique fluorescence response patterns were identified and processed using linear discriminant analysis (LDA), enabling the individual identification of 12 closely related azo dyes. To demonstrate the potential for utility in the environment, the array was used to differentiate between these dyes at nanomolar concentrations in water.

Publication Title

ACS Sensors

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