Hg 2+ -promoted spirolactam hydrolysis reaction: A design strategy for the highly selective sensing of hg 2+ over other metal ions in aqueous media

Mai Van Bay, Nguyen Khoa Hien, Subin Son, Nguyen Duy Trinh, Nguyen Tien Trung, Pham Cam Nam, Jong Seung Kim, Duong Tuan Quang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


A mercury sensor (N-(rhodamine-6G)lactam-ethylenediamine-4-dimethylamino-cinnamaldehyde—RLED) based on the Hg 2+ -promoted hydrolysis reaction has been designed and developed with a combination of theoretical calculations and experimental investigations. The interaction between RLED and Hg 2+ goes through a fast-initial stage with formation of a 1:1 complex, followed by a slow hydrolysis process. The formation of durable intermediate complexes is due to quite a long hydrolysis reaction time. As a result, RLED can selectively detect Hg 2+ in the presence of other metal ions, with a detection limit of 0.08 µM for the colorimetric method, and of 0.008 µM with the fluorescent method. In addition, the RLED sensor can work in a solution with a small amount of organic solvent, with a wide pH range from 5 to 10. The time-dependent density functional theory has been used for investigations of the excitation and de-excitation processes in RLED, intermediate complexes, and reaction products, thereby clarifying the changes in the fluorescence intensity before and after the RLED interacts with Hg 2+ ions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number128
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1


  • Fluorescence
  • Hydrolysis
  • Mercury
  • Quantum chemical calculations
  • Rhodamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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