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


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.

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.

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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).

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Correspondence to Tianrong Zhan.

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Zhan, T., Ding, G., Cao, W. et al. Amperometric sensing of catechol by using a nanocomposite prepared from Ag/Ag2O nanoparticles and N,S-doped carbon quantum dots. Microchim Acta 186, 743 (2019).

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