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l-Tyrosine protected Cu nanoclusters for reversible pH-sensors

Zhifeng Cai, Caifeng Zhang, and Kang Jia

Department of Chemistry, Taiyuan Normal University, Jinzhong, People’s Republic of China



Received: 17 September 2019  Accepted: 8 December 2019


A fast, simple, green and low-cost synthesis method in aqueous solution was successfully established for the preparation of l-tyrosine protected Cu nanoclusters (Cu NCs). Subsequently, the as-prepared Cu NCs was characterized by UV–vis absorption spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). It exhibited good water solubility, excellent photostability and high stability toward high concentration of sodium chloride. The Cu NCs revealed maximum excitation and emission peaks at 430 and 477 nm, respectively. Importantly, the Cu NCs showed a rapid response, a liner relation over the pH ranges from 5.02 to 11.92 and could be repeated for five consecutive cycles without fluorescence decay. Further, the as-prepared Cu NCs was applied for the determination of pH value in water samples. Simultaneously, all above features showed that l-tyrosine protected Cu NCs had great potential for sensing of pH in biological field.

Keywords: Cu nanoclusters; l-Tyrosine; Green synthesis; pH-sensor

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-019-01027-x


Chemical Papers 74 (6) 1831–1838 (2020)

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