Microchimica Acta

, 185:550 | Cite as

Fluorometric determination of hydroquinone by using blue emitting N/S/P-codoped carbon dots

  • Yongping Wang
  • Qiaoli YueEmail author
  • Lixia Tao
  • Cong Zhang
  • Chen-Zhong LiEmail author
Original Paper


N/S/P-codoped carbon dots (CDs) are shown to be a viable fluorescent probe in a turn-off-on fluorometric assay for hydroquinone (HQ). The preparation of CDs was carried out using a one-step hydrothermal reaction starting with glyoxal and isocarbophos. The method is based on the formation of ground state complexes between CD and Fe(III) which leads to quenching of blue fluorescence (with excitation/emission peaks at 363/448 nm). On addition of HQ, it will be oxidized by Fe(III) upon which fluorescence recovers. This turn-off-on system can be utilized to quantify HQ. A linear relationship exists between fluorescence recovery and HQ concentration in range between 0.56 and 375 μM. The limit of detection is 0.16 μM. The assay was successfully applied to the determination of HQ in spiked water samples and developer samples.

Graphical abstract

Fluorometric determination of hydroquinone (with good selectivity over catechol and resorcinol) by using blue-emitting N/S/P-codoped carbon dots and the quenching effect of Fe(III).


1,4-dihydroxybenzene Carbon dots Fe(III) Hydrothermal reaction Blue emission Heteroatoms Glyoxal Fluorescence turn-off-on system Water samples Developer samples 



This work was supported financially by Natural Science Foundation (NSF) of China (91543206, 21729501), NSF (ZR2014BQ017, ZR2015BM024, and 2013SJGZ07) and Tai-Shan Scholar Research Fund of Shandong Province and research foundation of Liaocheng University. Dr. Li also thanks the support sponsored by NSF Independent Research/Development (IRD) Program.

Compliance with ethical standards

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

Supplementary material

604_2018_3082_MOESM1_ESM.doc (10.8 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 11078 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryLiaocheng UniversityLiaochengChina
  2. 2.Nanobioengineering/Bioelectronics Laboratory, Department of Biomedical EngineeringFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA

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