Improved portable SPR sensor for heavy metal detection
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Heavy metal contamination has become a worldwide concern because of the development of industry and manufacture. Among these heavy metals, mercury is extremely dangerous because it can be easily consumed by human and can be fatal in a small amount. SPR technology is developing fast due to its high sensitivity and reliable, stable characteristic. Especially in bio-sensing area. However, it is not ideal for small molecule detection such as metallic ions. Hence, SPR technology usually acts as a complementary method in metallic ions detection. Also, traditional SPR sensor has the mutual disadvantage as other precise sensors: they are usually bulky and expensive. In this paper, we are proposing a sensitive, inexpensive, portable SPR sensor that is capable of detecting mercuric ions in water solution at low concentration. We utilize thiol functioned PEG with large molecular weight to combine with gold film. Then, remove PEG from gold with mercuric ions. Improve the resolution of SPR sensor in a indirect way. It would be very noticeable for low concentration mercuric ion detection. Meanwhile, our contrast experiment shows that this method has selectivity to mercuric ions in comparison of cupric ions, making SPR detection more specific and accurate.