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Keywords:

  • polyelectrolyte capsules;
  • ion sensing;
  • ratiometric sensor;
  • fluorescence;
  • nanotechnology

Abstract

Micrometer-sized polyelectrolyte capsules are synthesized, which have ion-sensitive fluorophores embedded in their cavities. As the membranes of the capsules are permeable to ions, the fluorescence of the capsules changed with the ion concentration. In particular, capsules sensitive to protons, sodium, potassium, and chloride ions are fabricated and their fluorescence response analyzed. In order to allow for ratiometric measurements, additional fluorophores whose emission do not depend on the ion concentration and which emit a different wavelength are co-embedded in the capsule cavities.