Solid-phase colorimetric sensor based on gold nanoparticle-loaded polymer brushes: Lead detection as a case study

Abdul Rahim Ferhan, Longhua Guo, Xiaodong Zhou, Peng Chen, Seungpyo Hong, Dong Hwan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

68 Citations (Scopus)


We introduce a novel solid-phase colorimetric sensor facilely fabricated by loading unmodified gold nanoparticles into poly(oligo(ethylene glycol)methacrylate) (POEGMA) brushes grown on glass. Our work reports the first synergistic combination of metallic nanoparticles acting as a colorimetric sensing module with a nonfouling polymer matrix acting both as a nonrigid scaffold and a screen to reduce interference from nontarget molecules. In addition, as the nanocomposite is formed on a transparent substrate, solid-phase detection can be performed in the same manner as in the solution-phase. We demonstrate the use of this unique platform for label-free lead detection based on the release of gold nanoparticles from the polymer brush upon exposure to lead ions. An ultralow limit-of-detection of 25 pM (S/N = 3) and a dynamic range of 100 pM to 100 nM (R2 = 0.987) are achieved. Furthermore, the detection is up to 1000-fold more selective to lead over other common heavy metal ions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4094-4099
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Apr 16


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry

Cite this