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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2017, Article ID 6897960, 9 pages
Research Article

Application of Starch-Stabilized Silver Nanoparticles as a Colorimetric Sensor for Mercury(II) in 0.005 mol/L Nitric Acid

1Department of General and Inorganic Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy, Laboratory of Nanoparticle Science and Technology, University of Sofia “St. Kliment Ohridski”, 1 J. Bourchier Blvd., 1164 Sofia, Bulgaria
2Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Sofia “St. Kliment Ohridski”, 1 J. Bourchier Blvd., 1164 Sofia, Bulgaria

Correspondence should be addressed to Penka Vasileva; gb.aifos-inu.mehc@avelisavp

Received 12 December 2016; Revised 13 March 2017; Accepted 28 March 2017; Published 13 April 2017

Academic Editor: Roberto Comparelli

Copyright © 2017 Penka Vasileva et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A sensitive and selective Hg2+ optical sensor has been developed based on the redox interaction of Hg2+ with starch-coated silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in the presence of 0.005 mol L−1 HNO3. The relative intensity of the localized surface plasmon absorption band of AgNPs at 406 nm is linearly dependent on the concentration of Hg2+ with positive slope for the concentration range 0–12.5 μg L−1 and negative slope for the concentration range 25–500 μg L−1. Experiments performed demonstrated that metal ions (Na+, K+, Mg2+, Ca2+, Pb2+, Cu2+, Zn2+, Cd2+, Fe3+, Co2+, and Ni2+) do not interfere under the same conditions, due to the absence of oxidative activity of these ions, which guarantees the high selectivity of the proposed optical sensor towards Hg2+. The limits of detection and quantification were found to be 0.9 µg L−1 and 2.7 µg L−1, respectively, and relative standard deviations varied in the range 9–12% for Hg content from 0.9 to 12.5 μg L−1 and 5–9% for Hg levels from 25 to 500 μg L−1. The method was validated by analysis of CRM Estuarine Water BCR505. A possible mechanism of interaction between AgNPs and Hg2+ for both concentration ranges was proposed on the basis of UV-Vis, TEM, and SAED analyses.