Colorimetric detection of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by using gold nanoparticles

Chih Ming Ma, Li Chieh Lin, Kai Jen Chuang, Gui Bing Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The existence and content of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the environment have gradually received attention because PAHs are widely detected in many sources. Therefore, an effective detection method for PAHs is necessary for further treatment. This study proposes a novel colorimetric detection method based on AuNPs to determine the contents of phenanthrene (Phe) and pyrene (Pyr). Trisodium citrate was used as a reducing agent to synthesize gold nanoparticles, and ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) was added as a reactant to detect the analyte content. Some assay parameters, such as the concentration of NH4NO3 solution, the volume of NH4NO3 solution, the concentration of MES buffer solution, the volume of MES buffer solution, and the reaction time influenced the analyte detection ability of AuNPs and were optimized. The limits of detection for Phe and Pyr are 0.06 mg/L and 0.087 mg/L, respectively. In addition, the detection method has good selectivity and anti-interference ability for the target analytes. This colorimetric method was used to detect target analytes in real water (tap water and mineral water) with acceptable results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120701
JournalSpectrochimica Acta - Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy
Publication statusPublished - Mar 5 2022


  • Colorimetric
  • Gold nanoparticles
  • phenanthrene
  • pyrene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Spectroscopy


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