Abstract

Time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy (TRFS) is a new tool that can be used to investigate processes of interaction between metal ions and organic matter (OM) in soils, providing a specific analysis of the structure and dynamics of macromolecules. To the best of our knowledge, there are no studies in the literature reporting the use of this technique applied to whole/non-fractionated soil samples, making it a potential method for use in future studies. This work describes the use of TRFS to evaluate the fluorescence lifetimes of OM of whole soils from the Amazon region. Analysis was made of pellets of soils from an oxisol–spodosol system, collected in São Gabriel da Cachoeira (Amazonas, Brazil). The fluorescence lifetimes in the oxisol–spodosol system were attributed to two different fluorophores. One was related to complexation of an OM fraction with metals, resulting in a shorter fluorophore lifetime. A short fluorescence lifetime (2–12 ns) could be associated with simpler structures of the OM, while a long lifetime (19–66 ns) was associated with more complex OM structures. This new TRFS technique for analysis of the fluorescence lifetime in whole soil samples complies with the principles of green chemistry.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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