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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2010, Article ID 309207, 5 pages
Research Article

Sensing of Zinc-Containing Nanopollutants with an Ionic Liquid

1School of Pharmacy, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
2Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105, USA
3Division of Chest Medicine, Department of Medicine, Veterans General Hospital-Kaoshiung, Kaoshiung 813, Taiwan
4Department of Safety, Health and Environmental Engineering, National United University, Miao-Li 630, Taiwan
5Department of Medical Sociology and Social Work, College of Health Science, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaoshiung 800, Taiwan

Received 29 August 2010; Revised 12 November 2010; Accepted 2 December 2010

Academic Editor: Sherine Obare

Copyright © 2010 Michelle Wang 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.


The rapid maturing of nanotechnology and its wide range of applications not bring benefits only, so the downsides are worth noting. Nanopollutants, generally undetectable, are often found as byproducts involved in various chemical or physical reactions. Many nanopollutants are concerned and suspected of causing negative impact on human health due to their unpredictable existence in the environment. Unlike the traditional sensing systems which can detect select gaseous molecules, effective nanoparticle sensing methods are still lacking in the literature. In this paper, sensing of zinc-containing nanopollutants suspended in N2 with a room-temperature ionic liquid (RTIL) ([C4mim][PF6] (1-butyl-3-methyl imidazolium hexafluorophosphate)) has been studied. The sensitivities ( ) obtained by determination of the RTIL resistance to the absorbed phosphor fly ash (<200 nm) is 7.0, while the RTIL has higher sensitivity of 11 and 10, respectively, to ZnO and ZnS nanoparticles By component-fitted X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy, it seems that the N-methyl imidazole (mim) complexes are formed during sensing of the phosphor fly ash, ZnO and ZnS nanoparticles with the RTIL. The 1H and 31P NMR observations also suggest that the (mim) behaves as a carrier during sensing of nanopollutants with the RTIL.