Rapid Visual Detection of Aluminium Ion Using Citrate Capped Gold Nanoparticles

Analyst. 2012 May 7;137(9):2021-3. doi: 10.1039/c2an35129c. Epub 2012 Mar 13.


We report the visual detection of Al(3+) using unlabeled gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) based on the complexation of Al(3+) with citric acid, resulting in the aggregation of AuNPs. The distinction of color change can be observed by the naked eye at concentrations down to 1.0 μM which is lower than the permissable level (7.4 μM) for drinking water as defined by the World Health Organization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aluminum / analysis*
  • Aluminum / chemistry*
  • Citrates / chemistry*
  • Color
  • Colorimetry / methods*
  • Gold / chemistry*
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Observation
  • Time Factors


  • Citrates
  • Gold
  • Aluminum