Highly sensitive plasmonic optical fiber platforms combined with receptors have been recently used to obtain selective sensors. A low-cost configuration can be obtained exploiting a D-shaped plastic optical fiber covered with a multilayer sensing surface. The multilayer consists of a gold film, functionalized with a specific receptor, where the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) occurs. The signal is produced by the refractive index variation occurring as a consequence of the receptor to analyte binding. In this work, a selective sensor for copper(II) detection in drinking water, exploiting a self-assembled monolayer (SAM) of d,l-penicillamine as the sensing layer, has been developed and tested. Different concentrations of copper(II) in NaCl 0.1 M solutions at different pH values and in a real matrix (drinking water) have been considered. The results show that the sensor is able to sense copper(II) at concentrations ranging from 4 × 10^(−6) M to 2 × 10^(−4) M. The use of this optical chemical sensor is a very attractive perspective for fast, in situ and low-cost detection of Cu(II) in drinking water for human health concerns. Furthermore, the possibility of remote control is feasible as well, because optical fibers are employed.
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