Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 411, Issue 13, pp 2803–2808 | Cite as

Ratiometric fluorescence detection of riboflavin based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer from nitrogen and phosphorus co-doped carbon dots to riboflavin

  • Liping LinEmail author
  • Yuhan Wang
  • Yanling Xiao
  • Xiaohe Chen
Research Paper


Fluorescent nitrogen and phosphorus co-doped carbon dots (NPCDs) were prepared via a hydrothermal method with citric acid and O-phosphorylethanolamine as precursors. The overlap between the absorption spectrum of riboflavin and the fluorescence emission spectrum of the NPCDs and the relative proximity of the NPCDs to riboflavin due to hydrogen bonding facilitated the formation of a NPCDs/riboflavin fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) system. Thus, a ratiometric fluorescence method for the detection of riboflavin based on the formation of this NPCDs/riboflavin FRET system was developed. The method displayed a sensitive and selective response to riboflavin in the range 0.5–50 μmol/L with a detection limit of 0.17 μmol/L. It was also found to be suitable for the detection of riboflavin in milk and riboflavin pharmaceutical tablets.

Graphical abstract

Illustration of the preparation of NPCDs and the ratiometric fluorescence detection of riboflavin using the NPCDs/riboflavin FRET system


Ratiometric fluorescence Riboflavin detection Fluorescence resonance energy transfer Nitrogen and phosphorus co-doped carbon dots 


Funding information

This research work was financially supported by the Natural Science Foundation from Science and Technology, Department of Fujian Province (no. 2018J05013), Educational Research Projects for Young and Middle-Aged Teachers of Fujian Province (no. JT180136), and the Outstanding Youth Research Training Program of Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (no. xjq201818), which are gratefully acknowledged.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liping Lin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yuhan Wang
    • 1
  • Yanling Xiao
    • 1
  • Xiaohe Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Applied Chemistry, College of Life SciencesFujian Agriculture and Forestry UniversityFuzhouChina

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