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A new simple and inexpensive optical chemical sensor for mercury(II) ions is presented. The mercury sensing system has prepared by incorporating of l-[2-pyridylazo]-2-naphthol as a suitable ligand for Hg(II) on triacetyl cellulose. The proportionality in intensity of the membrane color on the optodes loaded with varying amounts of Hg(II) suggests its potential applications for screening of Hg(II) in aqueous samples by visual colorimetry. The optode has a dynamic range 1.0 to 1000.0 muM with a limit of detection of 0.8 muM Hg(II). Different experimental parameters such as variable affecting on sensor preparation and pH of the sample solution plus response time were studied. The optodes developed in the present work were found to be stable, cost effective, easy to prepare, and efficient for direct determination of Hg(II) in a variety of aqueous samples using spectrophotometric method.