Microchimica Acta

, 186:743 | Cite as

Amperometric sensing of catechol by using a nanocomposite prepared from Ag/Ag2O nanoparticles and N,S-doped carbon quantum dots

  • Tianrong ZhanEmail author
  • Guiyan Ding
  • Wei Cao
  • Jiamin Li
  • Xilin She
  • Hongni Teng
Original Paper


This work describes the synthesis of a nanocomposite consisting of Ag2O, silver nanoparticles and N,S-doped carbon quantum dots (Ag2O/Ag@NS-CQD). The NS-CQD were prepared by hydrothermal treatment of p-aminobenzenesulfonic acid. They act as both the reducing and stabilizing agent for synthesis of Ag2O/Ag@NS-CQD. The composite was characterized by UV-vis spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The glassy carbon electrode (GCE) was modified by coating it with Ag2O/Ag@NS-CQD. It exhibits excellent amperometric response to catechol, typically at a low working potential of around 0.25 V. Under the best experimental conditions, the sensor has a wide linear response (0.2 to 180 μM) and a low detection limit (13 nM; at S/N = 3). The method was applied to analysis of spiked water samples and gave satisfactory results.

Graphical abstract

Schematic representation of the preparation of the Ag/Ag2O@N,S-doped carbon quantum dots composite using p-aminobenzenesulfonic acid and silver nitrate as the starting materials. The corresponding modified glassy carbon electrode exhibits the excellent amperometric sensing performance toward catechol at pH 7.0 with low detection limit and good selectivity.


N,S-doped carbon quantum dots Ag and Ag2O nanoparticles Modified electrode Catechol Electrochemical sensor 



We are grateful to the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province, China (No. ZR2019MB062, ZR2014JL013, JQ201704), the Key Research and Development Program of Shandong Province (2017GGX20143), Taishan Scholar Program of Shandong Province of China (No. ts201712045), the Foundation of Key Laboratory of Sensor Analysis of Tumor Marker, Ministry of Education, QUST (SATM201603), the foundation of Key Laboratory of Colloid and Interface Chemistry (Shandong University), Ministry of Education (201702), the open foundation from the Key Lab of Marine Bioactive Substance and Modern Analysis Technology, SOA (MBSMAT-2017-02, MBSMAT-2016-02 and MBSMAT-2015-04).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

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

Supplementary material

604_2019_3848_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.1 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 1152 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Optic-electric Sensing and Analytical Chemistry for Life Science (Ministry of Education)Qingdao University of Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina
  2. 2.College of Environmental Science and Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Bio-fibers and Eco-textiles, Shandong Collaborative Innovation Center for Marine Biomass Fiber, Institute of Marine Biobased MaterialsQingdao UniversityQingdaoPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Applied Chemistry, College of Chemical and Environmental EngineeringShandong University of Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina

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