Extremely sensitive and wide-range silver ion detection via assessing the integrated surface potential of a DNA-capped gold nanoparticle

Dongtak Lee, Hyungbeen Lee, Gyudo Lee, Insu Kim, Sang Won Lee, Woong Kim, Sang Woo Lee, Jeong Hoon Lee, Jinsung Park, Dae Sung Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


With the rapid development of nanotechnology and its associated waste stream, public concern is growing over the potential toxicity exposure to heavy metal ions poses to the human body and the environment. Herein, we report an extremely sensitive Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM)-based platform for detecting nanotoxic materials (e.g. Ag + ) accomplished by probing the integrated surface potential differences of a single gold nanoparticle on which an interaction between probe DNA and target DNA occurs. This interaction can amplify the surface potential of the nanoparticle owing to the coordination bond mediated by Ag + (cytosine-Ag + -cytosine base pairs). Interestingly, compared with conventional methods, this platform is capable of extremely sensitive Ag + detection (∼1 fM) in a remarkably wide-range (1 fM to 1 μM). Furthermore, this platform enables Ag + detection in a practical sample (general drinking water), and this KPFM-based technique may have the potential to detect other toxic heavy metal ions and single nucleotide polymorphisms by designing specific DNA sequences.

Original languageEnglish
Article number085501
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb 22

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Korean Government (MSIP) (No. NRF-2016R1A2B4010269, NRF-2017R1A6A3A11034311 and NRF-2018M3C1B7020722). This material is also supported by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE, Korea) under Industrial Technology Innovation Program (No.10079316) and Korea University Grant.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 IOP Publishing Ltd.


  • DNA-metal interaction
  • Kevin probe force microscope
  • gold nanoparticle
  • silver ion
  • surface potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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