Tailored functional polymeric vesicles as smart nanostructured materials for aqueous monitoring of transition metal cations

Tahir Rasheed, Faran Nabeel, Farooq Sher, Salah Ud Din Khan, Abdulaziz A. Al Kheraif

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    In this study, we report the newly engineered functional polymeric vesicles as the robust nanostructured materials for the recognition and quantification of transition metal cations i.e. Hg(II) and Cr(III) as the naked eye recognition architectures in aqueous solution. The as prepared visual detector was synthesized by the combination of a hyperbranched poly(3-ethyl-3-oxetanemethanol)-star-poly(ethylene oxide) (HBPO-star-PEO, HSP) functionalized with rhodamine-2-amino-5-bromopyrimidine based chemosensor (RBP). The nanostructured vesicular sensor was regarded as HSP-RBP sensor. The naked eye detection owes from the spriolactam ring opening of the rhodamine based sensor (RBP) which was grafted onto the multiarm hyperbranched amphiphilic polymer. This newly synthesized sensor can facilely self-assemble into vesicles with enriched RBP groups on the outer surface of amphiphilic polymer. As a result of the introduction of these analytes (Hg2+/Cr3+) the structural changes of RBP takes place and a transition in color change from colorless solution to pink colored solution takes place. This transition of color can clearly be seen with bare eye. Therefore, the term visual detection can be coined for the vesicular sensor. Furthermore, the limit of detection for Hg2+ and Cr3+ was calculated as low as 1.2 and 2.9 μM respectively. The striking feature of the newly prepared sensor, is its extraordinary ability for the recognition and quantification of Hg2+/Cr3+ with outstanding selectivity in raw water samples.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number114791
    JournalJournal of Molecular Liquids
    Early online date18 Nov 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


    Funding from Research Supporting Project Number (RSP-2020/31), King Saud University , Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


    • Aqueous detection
    • Functionalization
    • Hyperbranched copolymer
    • Nanostructured vesicles
    • Self-assembly
    • Sensitivity
    • Transition metal cations

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
    • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Spectroscopy
    • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
    • Materials Chemistry


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