Microchimica Acta

, 185:234 | Cite as

Fluorometric determination of dopamine by using molybdenum disulfide quantum dots

  • Xinnan Liu
  • Wentao Zhang
  • Lunjie Huang
  • Na Hu
  • Wei Liu
  • Yingnan Liu
  • Sihang Li
  • Chengyuan Yang
  • Yourui Suo
  • Jianlong Wang
Original Paper


A method is described for the rapid fluorometric determination of dopamine (DA) by using molybdenum disulfide quantum dots (MoS2 QDs) that were fabricated via an ammonium hydroxide etching method. The probe has a fluorescence (with excitation/emission peaks at 267/380 nm) that is quenched by DA with high selectivity over various interferences. This is attributed to a reaction that occurs between DA and the molybdate ions in pH 9 solutions of MoS2 QDs. The formation of organic molybdate complexes and of dopamine-quinone results in strong quenching of the fluorescence of the QDs which is due to both electron transfer and an inner filter effect. Under the optimum conditions, the assay works in the 0.1–100 μM DA concentration range, with two linear ranges and a 10 nM detection limit. The method was applied to the determination of DA in spiked artificial urine samples, where it gave recoveries ranging from 97.6 to 102.2%, demonstrating that the method a promising tool for rapid and selective detection of DA.

Graphical abstract

MoS2 QDs are facilely synthesized via the etching effect of ammonium hydroxide for highly selective fluorometric detection of dopamine.


Dopamine Dynamic quenching Etching synthesis Fluorescent probe Transition metal dichalcogenides 



This research was financed by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21675127), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Northwest A&F University of China (2014YB093, 2452015257) and the Development Project of Qinghai Key Laboratory (2017-ZJ-Y10).

Compliance with ethical standards

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

Supplementary material

604_2018_2771_MOESM1_ESM.doc (7 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 7179 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xinnan Liu
    • 1
  • Wentao Zhang
    • 1
  • Lunjie Huang
    • 1
  • Na Hu
    • 2
  • Wei Liu
    • 3
  • Yingnan Liu
    • 1
  • Sihang Li
    • 1
  • Chengyuan Yang
    • 1
  • Yourui Suo
    • 2
  • Jianlong Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Food Science and EngineeringNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Qinghai Key Laboratory of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Biological Resources, Northwest Institute of Plateau BiologyChinese Academy of SciencesXiningPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Biological Engineering DepartmentYangling Vocational & Technical CollegeYanglingPeople’s Republic of China

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