Selective Detection of Pd2+ Ions

Selective Detection of Pd2+ Ions

Author: Richard Threlfall

Palladium is a reliable old friend of the chemist when it comes to catalyzing organic reactions. But palladium also has a number of uses outside catalysis such as in the electronics industry. As with all heavy metals, accurate ways to detect and identify them are needed for applications such as pollution control.

Enter Xiang Zhou and co-workers, Wuhan University, China: Their 4-amino-1,8-naphthalimide derivative can selectively detect palladium(II) ions in the presence of up to five times the concentration of other metal ions. The probe works by using palladium to catalyze the hydrolysis of an amide bond. This reaction, which is not catalyzed by many other common metal ions, releases the fluorescent part of the molecule, making it a selective test for the presence of palladium(II) ions.

The group hopes to use the test for detecting palladium in chemical and environmental samples.

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