Microchimica Acta

, 186:399 | Cite as

Silicon-doped carbon quantum dots with blue and green emission are a viable ratiometric fluorescent probe for hydroquinone

  • Yingnan Liu
  • Yuanyuan Cao
  • Tong Bu
  • Xinyu Sun
  • Taotao Zhe
  • Chen Huang
  • Siyu Yao
  • Li WangEmail author
Original Paper


Silicon-doped carbon quantum dots (Si-CQDs) were employed to fabricate a ratiometric fluorometric probe that shows high selectivity for hydroquinone (HQ). The Si-CQDs were prepared through hydrothermal treatment of N-[3-(trimethoxysilyl)propyl]-ethylenediamine. If HQ is oxidized in a solution of the Si-CQDs, 1,4-benzoquinone will be formed which quenches the blue fluorescence (with excitation/emission peaks at 360/435 nm) of the Si-CQDs. Simultaneously, intense green fluorescence (with a emission peak at 513 nm) appears, probably due to the formation of n-π clathrates or of a quinone imine between 1,4-benzoquinone and amino groups on the surface of the Si-CQDs. The ratio of the green and blue fluorescence can be applied to the determination of HQ with a 0.077 μM detection limit. The analytical range extends from 1 to 40 μM.

Graphical abstract

Schematic of a silicon-doped carbon quantum dot-based ratiometric fluorescence probe with blue and green emission for the visual and fluorometric determination of hydroquinone.


Carbon dots Visual detection N-[3-(Trimethoxysilyl)propyl]-ethylenediamine Benzoquinone 1,4-Dihydroxybenzene Water samples Cosmetics samples Hydrothermal reaction Optical probe Quantum yield 



This work was financially supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Northwest A&F University (Nos. Z111021601) and Talented Program (A279021724).

Compliance with ethical standards

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

604_2019_3490_MOESM1_ESM.docx (481 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 480 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Food Science and EngineeringNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingChina

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