Quantum dots (QDs), because of their exciting optical properties, have been explored as alternative fluorescent sensors to conventional organic fluorophores which are routinely employed for the detection of various analytes via fluorometry. QD probes can detect toxic metal ions, anions, organic molecules with good selectivity and sensitivity. This chapter investigates the synthesis of Mn-doped ZnSe QDs using nucleation-doping strategy. The as-synthesized QDs were characterized by various analytical tools such as ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) absorption, photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy, X-ray diffractometry (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). It was found that Mn doping of QDs significantly increases the PL intensity. The PL of the resulting QDs was examined in the presence of different metal ions to check its selective response. Among the various metal ions, Hg2+ exhibits a drastic quenching of the QD’s emission intensity. A Stern-Volmer plot of [Hg2+] sensing using the as-synthesized QDs showed linearity in the range of 0–30 × 10−6 ML−1 with the regression coefficient R2 = 0.99. The detection limit was found to be 6.63 × 10−7 ML−1. Thus, the present Mn-doped ZnSe QDs represent a simple, non-toxic fluorescent probe for the qualitative and quantitative detection of mercury ions in aqueous samples.
Part of the book: Nonmagnetic and Magnetic Quantum Dots