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  • Nano-analysis and Environmental Effects


    Nano-analysis and Environmental Effects group focuses on the following four aspects: (1) Analytical methods for persistent toxic substances (PTS) based on novel materials, technologies and principles; (2) Identification/characterization/determination, transport and transformation of PTS and engineered nanomaterials (NMs) in the environment; (3) Interaction mechanisms and environmental impacts of engineered NMs and dissolved organic matter (DOM) on PTS. Here are the representative achievements:
    1. Invention of new methods for the analysis of PTS based on new materials. By using gold nanoparticles and ionic liquids, novel methods for the concentration and fast determination of PTS was developed. A series of SERS substrates (including ultrafine nanowires and nanofilms) based on noble metals were constructed for pollutant analysis, environmental process monitoring, and catalyst designing.
    2. Development of novel approaches for the separation/determination of NMs and tracking the transfer and transformation of NMs. For the first time, cloud point extraction (CPE) method was proposed for the separation, concentration and recovery of various NMs in the aqueous phase. Speciation analysis of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and Ag+ in complex matrices was developed based on CPE, HPLC-ICP-MS, and Hollow Fiber Flow Field-Flow Fractionation (HF5)-ICP-MS. NMs were found to sinificantly enriched in water surface microlayer. DOM in environmental waters was found to mediate the reduction of ionic Ag and Au to their metallic nanoparticles under natural sunlight, which may be possible natural sources of Ag and Au nanoparticles in the aquatic environment. It was found that AgNPs are highly dynamic in aquatic systems, and the chemical oxidation of AgNPs to release Ag+ and reconstitution to form AgNPs could happen simultaneously in sunlit DOM-rich water.
    3. Establishment of strategies to study interaction mechanisms and environmental impacts of DOM on PTS. Based on hollow fiber liquid-phase microextraction and solid-phase microextraction, new methods for the determination of freely dissolved concentrations of several pollutants were developed, and the effects of DOM on the bioavailability of organic pollutants were evaluated.
    4. Development of methods for detecting and studying the transformation mechanisms of emerging anthropogenic and natural contaminants. Time-Resolved Fluoroimmunoassay was used to assess the total concentration and the occurrence and environmental risks of fluoroquinolones in surface waters. HPLC-MS methods were developed to determine aluminum dialkyl phosphinates and organophosphate ester in the environmental and biological matrices, and study their occurrence, distribution and fate in some typical environmental processes. Photohalogenation of DOM was studied by using ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry, and it was found that this processes may represent an important abiotic source of natural organobromine compounds (OBCs) and natural organoiodine compounds (OICs) within surface waters.

    Selected publications

    1. Rui Liu, Liqiang Zhang, Cun Yu, Mengtao Sun, Jingfu Liu*, Guibin Jiang. Atomic-level-designed catalytically active palladium atoms on ultrathin gold nanowires. Adv. Mater. DOI: 10.1002/adma.201604571
    2. Rui Liu, Zuoliang He, Jiefang Sun, Jingfu Liu*, Guibin Jiang. Tracking the fate of surface plasmon resonance-generated hot electrons by in situ SERS surveying of catalyzed reaction. Small. DOI:10.1002/Smll.201601773
    3. Xiaoru Guo, Yongguang Yin, Zhiqiang Tan, Zongmian Zhang, Yongsheng Chen, Jingfu Liu*. Significant enrichment of engineered nanoparticles in water surface microlayer. Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett., 2016, 3, 381-385.
    4. Yongguang Yin, Xiaoya Yang, Ligang Hu, Zhiqiang Tan, Lixia Zhao, Zhen Zhang, Jingfu Liu*, Guibin Jiang. Superoxide-mediated extracellular biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles by fungus Fusarium oxysporum. Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett., 2016, 3, 160-165.
    5. Jingbo Chao, Xiaoxia Zhou, Mohai Shen, Zhiqiang Tan, Rui Liu, Sujuan Yu, Xiaowei Wang, Jingfu Liu*. Speciation analysis of labile and total silver(I) in nanosilver dispersions and environmental waters by hollow fiber supported liquid membrane extraction. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2015, 49, 14213–14220.
    6. Meseret Amde, Jingfu Liu*, Long Pang. Environmental application, fate, effects, and concerns of ionic liquids: A review. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2015, 49, 12611–12627.
    7. Zhiqiang Tan, Jingfu Liu*, Xiaoru Guo, Yongguang Yin, Seul Kee Byeon, Myeong Hee Moon, Guibin Jiang. Toward full spectrum speciation of silver nanoparticles and ionic silver by on-line coupling of hollow fiber flow field-flow fractionation and mini-column concentration with multiple detectors. Anal. Chem., 2015, 87, 8441−8447.
    8. Jiefang Sun, Rui Liu, Jijun Tang, Zongmian Zhang, Xiaoxia Zhou, Jingfu Liu*. Controlled assembly of gold nanostructures on a solid substrate via imidazole directed hydrogen bonding for high performance surface enhance Raman scattering sensing of hypochlorous acid. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2015, 7, 16730–16737.
    9. Yongguang Yin, Mohai Shen, Zhiqiang Tan, Sujuan Yu, Jingfu Liu*, Guibin Jiang. Particle coating-dependent interaction of molecular weight fractionated natural organic matter: Impacts on the aggregation of silver nanoparticles. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2015, 49, 6581−6589.
    10. Rui Liu, Jiefang Sun, Dong Cao, Liqiang Zhang, Jingfu Liu*, Guibin Jiang. Fabrication of highly-specific SERS substrates by co-precipitation of functional nanomaterials during the self-sedimentation of silver nanowires into nanoporous film. Chem. Commun., 2015, 51, 1309-1312.
    11. Mohai Shen, Yongguang Yin, Andy Booth, Jingfu Liu*. Effects of molecular weight-dependent physicochemical heterogeneity of natural organic matter on the aggregation of Fullerene nanoparticles in mono- and di-valent electrolyte solutions. Water Res., 2015, 71, 11-20.
    12. Xiaoxia Zhou, Rui Liu, Jingfu Liu*. Rapid chromatographic separation of dissoluble Ag(I) and silver-containing nanoparticles of 1-100 nanometer in antibacterial products and environmental waters. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2014, 48, 14516–14524.
    13. Yumin Niu, Jingfu Liu*, Yong Liang, Zhineng Hao, Jingfu Liu*, Yuchen Liu, Xue Sun. Aluminum dialkyl phosphinate flame retardants and their hydrolysates: Analytical method and occurrence in soil and sediment samples from a manufacturing site. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2014, 48, 3336–3343.
    14. Yongguang Yin, Sujuan Yu, Jingfu Liu*, Guibin Jiang. Thermal and photo-induced reduction of ionic Au(III) to elemental Au nanoparticles by dissolved organic matter in water: Possible source of naturally occurring Au nanoparticles. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2014, 48, 2671–2679.
    15. Sujuan Yu, Yongguang Yin, Jingbo Chao, Mohai Shen, Jingfu Liu*. Highly dynamic PVP-coated silver nanoparticles in aquatic environments: Chemical and morphology change induced by oxidation of Ag0 and reduction of Ag+. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2014, 48, 403–411.
    16. Yongguang Yin, Mohai Shen, Xiaoxia Zhou, Sujuan Yu, Jingbo Chao, Jingfu Liu*, Guibin Jiang. Photo-reduction and stabilization capability of molecular weight fractionated natural organic matter in transformation of silver ion to metallic nanoparticle. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2014, 48, 9366−9373.
    17. Zongmian Zhang, Jingfu Liu*, Rui Liu, Jiefang Sun, Guohua Wei. Thin layer chromatography coupled with surface enhanced Raman scattering as a facile method for on-site quantitative monitoring of chemical reactions. Anal. Chem., 2014, 86, 7286–7292.
    18. Rui Liu, Jingfu Liu*, Zongmian Zhang, Liqiang Zhang, Jiefang Sun, Mengtao Sun, Guibin Jiang. Submonolayer-Pt coated ultrathin Au nanowires and their self-organized nanoporous film: SERS and catalysis active substrates for operando SERS monitoring of catalytic reactions. J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2014, 5, 969-975.
    19. Zhiqiang Tan, Jingfu Liu*, Yongguang Yin, Qiantao Shi, Chuanyong Jing, Guibin Jiang. Colorimetric Au nanoparticle probe for speciation test of arsenite and arsenate inspired by selective interaction between phosphonium ionic liquid and arsenite. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2014, 6, 19833-19839.
    20. Yongguang Yin, Jingfu Liu*, Guibin Jiang. Sunlight-induced reduction of ionic Ag and Au to metallic nanoparticles by dissolved organic matter. ACS Nano, 2012, 6, 7910-7919.

    Supported Projects

    1. National Key Research and Development Program of China,  Applied Basic Research and Demonstration Project on the Application of Nanomaterials in Treatment of Combined Pollutants in Waters, 2016YFA02031000, 2016-2021.
    2. National Natural Science Foundation of China: Generation Mechanism, Water Environment Behavior and Implication of Biosynthesized Nanoparticles, 21620102008, 2017-2021.
    3. National Natural Science Foundation of China: Analytical Methods, Transformation Mechanism and Biological Effects of the Physical Forms and Chemical Species of Nanomaterials in Environmental Waters, 21337004, 2014-2018.
    4. National Natural Science Foundation of China: Development of a Multi-dimensional Instrument System for the Separation and Purification of Nanomaterials, 21227012, 2013-2016.
    5. National Natural Science Foundation of China: Environmental pollution chemistry, 21522705, 2016-2018.


    2016 National scholarship for graduate students (Zuoliang He)
    2015 National scholarship for graduate students (Lijie Dong)
    2014 Chinese Academy of Sciences Dean Reward (Sujuan Yu)
    2013 Outstanding Graduate Student Scholarship of Procter, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Sujuan Yu)
    2012 Excellence for “Hundred Talents Program” Final Evaluation (Jingfu Liu)
    2012 Excellent Superviser of Graduate Students, Chinese Academy of Science (Jingfu Liu)
    2012 Excellent Doctoral Dissertation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Rui Liu)
    2012 K. C. Wong Fellowship for Postdoctoral Works (Zhiqiang Tan)
    2011 Second Prize of The State Natural Science Award of China (Jingfu Liu)
    2011 First Prize of CAIA, China Association for Instrumental Analysis (Jingfu Liu)
    2011 Chinese Academy of Sciences Dean Reward (Rui Liu)
    2010 National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, National Natural Science Foundation of China (Jingfu Liu)
    2008 Baosteel Outstanding Student Award (Yongguang Yin)
    2006 “Hundred Talents Program” of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Jingfu Liu)