ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0478.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Polymers And Plastics Keywords: electrospun nanofibers; pH; mercury ion; chemosensor; thermo-response
Online: 22 October 2018 (07:42:20 CEST)
Novel multifunctional fluorescent chemosensors composed of electrospun (ES) nanofibers with high sensitivity toward pH, mercury ions (Hg2+), and temperature were prepared from poly(N-Isopropylacrylamide-co-N-methylolacrylamide-co-rhodamine derivative) (poly(NIPAAm-co-NMA-co-RhBN2AM)) by employing electrospinning process. NIPAAm and NMA moieties provide hydrophilic and thermo-responsive properties (absorption of Hg2+ in aqueous solutions), and chemical cross-linking sites (stabilization of the fibrous structure in aqueous solutions), respectively. The fluorescent probe, RhBN2AM is highly sensitive toward pH and Hg2+. Synthesis of poly(NIPAAm-co-NMA-co-RhBN2AM) with different compositions were carried on via free-radical polymerization. ES nanofibers prepared from sensory copolymers with a 71.1:28.4:0.5 NIPAAm: NMA: RhBN2AM ratio (P3 ES nanofibers) exhibited significant color change from nonfluorescent to red fluorescence while sensing pH or Hg2+, and high reversibility of on/off switchable fluorescence emission when Hg2+ and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) were sequentially added. The P3 ES nanofibrous membranes had a higher surface-to-volume ratio to enhance their performance than did the corresponding thin films. In addition, the fluorescence emission of P3 ES nanofibrous membranes exhibited second enhancement above the lower critical solution temperature. Thus, the ES nanofibrous membranes prepared from P3 with on/off switchable capacity and thermo-responsive characteristics can be used as multifunctional sensory devise for specific heavy transition metal (HTM) in aqueous solutions.