College of Material Science and Engineering, North China University of Science and Technology, Key Laboratory of Functional Polymer Materials of Tangshan, Tangshan 063210, China. Electronic address: [Email]
A fluorescent nanofibrous membrane (NFM) was successfully fabricated by functionalizing electrospun ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH) NFM with 4‑aminobenzoic acid (PABA) and 1‑pyrenecarboxaldehyde (Py-CHO) for fast and selective determination of Cu2+ in aqueous solution. The effective grafting of PABA and Py-CHO on the surface of EVOH NFM was confirmed by FTIR and XPS spectra. Benefiting from the integrated merits of electrospun EVOH NFM, PABA and Py-CHO, the as-appeared EVOH-PABA-Py NFM exhibited high sensitivity and selectivity towards Cu2+ detection. The quenching efficiency was 91.7% when the concentration of Cu2+ reached 5 × 10-3 M, while the detectable fluorescence response of the NFM was still observed when the concentration of Cu2+ was 1 × 10-9 M. The fluorescence quenching caused by Cu2+ was hardly affected by other commonly co-existent metal ions. More importantly, the fluorescent NFM exhibited fast response and high reversibility towards Cu2+ detection. The "off-on" fluorescence switching process via alternating addition of Cu2+ and Na2EDTA occurred in 3 min, and the quenching efficiency of the NFM kept relatively stable values within 10 cycles. This work may provide a new insight into the development of rapid, portable, stable and reusable fluorescent sensor based on electrospun nanofibers that can satisfy the requirements of practical metal ions detection.