Fluorescence lifetime sensor of copper ions in water

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We demonstrate an optical method for the selective detection of Cu(II) ions in water using time‐resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer from the dye rhodamine 800 encapsulated in a sensor. In comparison to copper, quenching by other metal ions such as cobalt, nickel, and chromium is shown to be negligible. The experimental arrangement incorporates picosecond diode laser excitation and time‐correlated single‐photon counting for detection. Down to 5 mM of copper deposited on the sensor can be measured and a linear response is obtained up to at least 50 mM. A lower limit of detection for the sensor in the region of 10 ppb is shown to be readily achievable with good resolution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2732-2737
Number of pages5
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1996


  • energy transfers
  • dyes
  • fluorescence lifetime sensor
  • copper ions
  • water


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