Rapid visual and spectrophotometric nitrite detection by cyclometalated ruthenium complex

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-140
Journal / PublicationAnalytica Chimica Acta
Online published14 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2017


Quantitative determination of nitrite ion (NO2¯) is of great importance in environmental and clinical investigations. A rapid visual and spectrophotometric assay for NO2¯ detection was developed based on a newly designed ruthenium complex, [Ru(npy)([9]aneS3)(CO)](ClO4) (denoted as RuNPY; npy = 2-(1-naphthyl)pyridine, [9]aneS3 = 1,4,7-trithiacyclononane). This complex traps NO+ produced in acidified NO2¯ solution, and yields observable color change within 1 min at room temperature. The assay features excellent dynamic range (1–840 μmol L−1) and high selectivity, and its limit of detection (0.39 μmol L−1) is also well below the guideline values for drinking water recommended by WHO and U.S. EPA. Practical use of this assay in tap water and human urine was successfully demonstrated. Overall, the rapidity and selectivity of this assay overcome the problems suffered by the commonly used modified Griess assays for nitrite determination.

Research Area(s)

  • Human urine, Nitrite detection, Nitrosonium ion, Organometallic complex, Spectrophotometric method, Tap water