Rapid, Sensitive and Selective Sensors for Ionic Mercury

Primary Inventors: 

The ability to rapidly and selectively detect and quantify chemicals has profound implications for human and environmental health. As poisonous chemicals, such as mercury (from solid-waste incineration and fossil-fuel combustion), continue to contaminate land and/or water, the development of portable, convenient “in the field” chemosensors becomes critically important. This invention provides novel colorimetric sensors for rapid, sensitive and selective detection of ionic mercury (mercury [II]). The detection can be implemented using paper strip, dipstick or solution based sensors that are easy and inexpensive to manufacture and convenient to use for “in the field” measurements. 

  • Rapid Colorimetric Sensors for Agricultural and Environmental Applications: Portable, convenient and instantaneous “in the field” colorimetric detection of Hg2+ using paper strips, dip sticks or colorimetric solutions; ultrasensitive colorimetric detection of these chemicals using a spectrophotometer. 
  • Rapid Sensors for Chemical Impurities and Contaminants: “In the field,” laboratory or Industrial detection and quantification of Hg2+ as chemical impurities and contaminants. 
  • Rapid and Convenient Detection: The paper strip or dipstick based sensors allow for rapid, convenient and easy detection of Hg2+. The colorimetric responses are instantaneous.
  • Superior Sensitivity: These novel sensors allow for highly sensitive detection of Hg2+ with a detection limit of 2 ppb.
  • Superior Selectivity: These novel sensors allow for highly selective detection of Hg2+ over a large number of environmentally relevant ions.
  • Low Manufacturing Costs: The paper strip or dipstick based sensors are easy to manufacture without the need for expensive raw materials and complex manufacturing processes. 
Licensing Status: 
Available for Licensing or Sponsored Research
Patent Status: 

Patent Issued - US 8,431,406

UMA 07-02, UMA 07-03 and UMA 07-30
For More Information: 

Ling X. Shen, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Senior Licensing Officer
Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property
Phone: 413-545-5276
E-mail: lxshen@research.umass.edu