Industrial development is changing the environment and the natural composition of water, increasing the need for new means to determine the concentration of toxic chemical elements and compounds in a way that is universal, fast, accurate, and safe for both the environment and people.
According to the MISiS researchers and their colleagues from Moscow State University, current methods don’t meet modern standards of performance and versatility. To solve this problem, the scientists have suggested using polarisation fluorescence analysis (PFA) to measure the concentration of heavy metals in water.
“This approach promises to reduce research time and increase measurement efficiency. For the fluorescence polarisation test, carbon quantum dots were used. These are environmentally friendly nanoparticles, up to 10 nanometers in size that have controlled fluorescence properties. They are also stable in the aquatic environment and are selectively sensitive to copper cations", Anastasia Yakusheva, a researcher at MISiS and co-author of the study, said.
According to the scientist, fluorescence polarisation opens up the prospects for a quick, simple, and effective analysis of the aquatic environment's safety. The PFA-based methodology has made it possible to simultaneously measure more than one hundred samples of water, reduce economic costs and increase the productivity of measurements. Another competitive advantage of this method is that it’s suitable for hard-to-reach or remote sources of water.