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Low Cost, High Sensitivity Detection of Waterborne Al3+ Cations and F- Anions Via the Fluorescence Response of a Morin Derivative Dye
Alhulw H Alshammari * 1 , Zahrah Alqahtani 1 , Faiz Bukhari Mohd Suah 2 , Syaza Atikah Nizar 2 , Alan Dunbar 3 , Martin Grell 1
1  Physics and Astronomy, University of Sheffield, Hicks Building, Hounsfield Rd, Sheffield S3 7RH, UK
2  Chemical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Minden, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.
3  Chemical and Biological Engineering, The University of Sheffield, Mappin St, Sheffield S1 3JD, UK

Published: 20 May 2021 by MDPI in 8th International Symposium on Sensor Science session Chemical Sensors
10.3390/I3S2021Dresden-10166 (registering DOI)

Morin dye is known as a cheap and readily available selective ‘off → on’ fluorescent sensitiser when immobilised in a phase transfer membrane for the detection of Al3+ ions. Here, a morin derivative, NaMSA, which readily dissolves in water with good long- term stability is used in conjunction with a fibre optic transducer with lock-in detection to detect Al3+ in drinking water below the potability limit. The combination of a water soluble dye and the fibre optic transducer require neither membrane preparation nor a fluorescence spectrometer yet still display a high figure- of- merit. The known ability to recover morin- based Al3+ cation sensors selectively by exposure to fluoride (F) anions is further developed enabling a complementary sensing of either fluoride anions, or aluminium cations, using the same dye with a sub- micromolar limit-of-detection for both ions. The sensor performance parameters compare favourably to prior reports on both aqueous aluminium and fluoride ion sensing.

Keywords: morin; aluminium; fluoride; fibre optics