Microchimica Acta

, 186:86 | Cite as

A magnetic and carbon dot based molecularly imprinted composite for fluorometric detection of 2,4,6-trinitrophenol

  • Min Wang
  • Qifeng Fu
  • Kailian Zhang
  • Yuyan Wan
  • Lujun Wang
  • Manjie Gao
  • Zhining Xia
  • Die GaoEmail author
Original Paper


A magnetic molecularly imprinted composite was prepared by reverse microemulsion using carbon dots (CDs), Fe3O4 as the co-nucleus, and a molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP; with 2,4,6-trinitrophenol as the template) acting as recognition sites. The composite of type CD/Fe3O4@MIPs was characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), zeta potentiometric analysis, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and vibrating sample magnetometry (VSM). The results showed that the composite MIP has a spherical shape with average diameter of 200 nm. They also showed that the composite contains core-shell structures with several Fe3O4 nanoparticles and CDs embedded in each of the microsphere. The composite can extract 2,4,6-trinitrophenol (TNP) and has an imprinting factor of 3.6. It has high selectivity and sensitivity for TNP which acts as a quencher of the fluorescence of the CDs (with excitation/emission maxima at 370/470 nm). The limit of detection of this fluorometric TNP assay is 0.5 nM. The method was successfully applied to the determination of TNP in spiked tap water and river water samples, and recoveries ranged from 89.4% to 108.5% (with an RSD of <6%).

Graphical abstract

Schematic representation of the magnetic molecularly imprinted composite containing fluorescent carbon dots, Fe3O4 and molecularly imprinted polymer (CD/Fe3O4@MIPs). The CD/Fe3O4@MIPs were applied to the selective and sensitive detection of 2,4,6-trinitrophenol (TNP) by fluorometry.


Fe3O4 nanoparticles Molecularly imprinting Reverse microemulsion method Selective recognition Fluorescence quenching Stern-Volmer plot Environmental pollutants 



This work was supported by the talent introduction program of Southwest medical university (NO. 090300040004), the university level fund of Southwest medical university (NO. 2017-ZRQN-032) and the joint program of Luzhou government-Southwest Medical University (NO. 2015LZCYD-S07(2/5)).

Compliance with ethical standards

The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

604_2018_3200_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 2.03 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PharmacySouthwest Medical UniversityLuzhouChina
  2. 2.School of Pharmaceutical SciencesChongqing UniversityChongqingChina

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