Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 411, Issue 12, pp 2597–2605 | Cite as

Silver nanoparticles capped with carbon dots as a fluorescent probe for the highly sensitive “off–on” sensing of sulfide ions in water

  • B. Sinduja
  • S. Abraham JohnEmail author
Research Paper


The present study illustrates the synthesis of silver nanoparticles capped with carbon dots (AgNPs-CDs) and their application towards the sensitive and selective sensing of sulfide ions by colorimetry and spectrofluorimetry methods. The CDs were prepared from l-asparagine by pyrolysis at 234 °C. The as-synthesized CDs were then utilized as reducing and capping agents for the synthesis of AgNPs-CDs by the wet chemical method. The size of the AgNPs-CDs was found to be ~ 5.2 nm. They show a characteristic surface plasmon resonance band at 417 nm and emission maximum at 441 nm when excited at 348 nm. Since the AgNPs were formed on the surface of CDs, the emission intensity of AgNPs-CDs was drastically decreased in contrast to that of CDs. The as-synthesized AgNPs-CDs were then successfully used for the sensitive and selective determination of sulfide ions. The addition of 0.1 μM sulfide ions to AgNPs-CDs leads to a decrease in the absorbance intensity at 417 nm aside turning from yellow to colorless. In the contrary, the emission was “turned on” after the addition of sulfide ions. The decrease in the absorbance and increase in the emission were attributed to the rapid formation of Ag2S. Finally, the practical application of the present method was demonstrated by determining dissolved H2S in tap water samples.


Carbon dots Silver nanoparticles Colorimetry Sulfide Fluorimetry 


Funding information

We thank the Department of Science and Technology-SERB (EMR/2016/002898), New Delhi, for the generous financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

216_2019_1697_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (820 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 819 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Department of ChemistryGandhigram Rural InstituteDindigulIndia

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