The noble metal nanoparticles (NPs), including gold nanorods (AuNRs), gold nanospheres (AuNSs) and silver nanoplates (AgNPTs), were synthesized and Tween 20 stabilized NPs (Tween 20-NPs) were used as the probes for determining Hg2+. Hg2+was determined based on the strong affinity between Au (Ag) and Hg. Hg2+was reduced to Hg in the presence of sodium borohydride. Hg interacts with the NPs and the diameter of the NPs decreases with the increase of Hg2+concentration, which causes the shift in absorption peak of Tween 20-NPs. The peak shifts are linearly related to Hg2+concentrations. Compared with AuNSs and AgNPTs, when the AuNRs was used, the sensitivity for determining Hg2+was higher. The developed method shows a good selectivity for Hg2+and can be applied to the determination of Hg2+in water samples. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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