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A simple, sensitive and highly selective direct spectrophotometric method for the determination of trace levels of mercury(II) in various samples is described. Diphenylthiocarbazone (dithizone) reacts in slightly acidic 50% aqueous 1,4-dioxane media (0.18–1.80 M sulphuric acid) with mercury(II) to give an orange chelate which has an absorption maximum at 488 nm. The average molar absorption co-efficient and Sandell's sensitivity were found to be 2.5×104l mol−1 cm−1and 0.015 μg of Hg(II) cm−2,doi:10.1155/2003/250927 fatcat:db3egjigwvdkdn2byw62an7tui