Tunnelling current recognition through core-satellite gold nanoparticles for ultrasensitive detection of copper ions

Chem Commun (Camb). 2015 Feb 18;51(14):2921-4. doi: 10.1039/c4cc09451d.


We report a new method for ultrasensitive detection of Cu(2+), which is based on changes in the tunnelling recognition current across self-assembled core-satellite gold nanoparticles (GNPs) networks functionalised with amino acids (l-cysteine). The addition of copper ions induces the formation of GNP/l-cysteine/Cu(2+)/l-cysteine/GNP molecular junctions and generates a significant decrease in the resistance through the networks. The networks are ultrasensitive to over ten orders range of copper ion concentrations.

MeSH terms

  • Copper / analysis*
  • Copper / chemistry*
  • Cysteine / chemistry
  • Gold / chemistry*
  • Hydrogen Bonding
  • Limit of Detection*
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry*


  • Gold
  • Copper
  • Cysteine