Microchimica Acta

, 186:850 | Cite as

Colorimetric and fluorimetric (dual-mode) nanoprobe for the determination of pyrogallol based on the complexation with copper(II)- and nitrogen-doped carbon dots

  • Hassan Refat H. Ali
  • Ahmed I. Hassan
  • Yasser F. Hassan
  • Mohamed M. El-WekilEmail author
Original Paper


Carbon dots doped with copper(II) and nitrogen (Cu,N@C-dots) were prepared and are shown to be viable fluorescent nanoprobe for pyrogallol (PGL) was developed for the first time. The reaction is based on (a) the complexation reaction between Cu,N@C-dots and catechol moiety, and (b) the generation of a quinone-like structure. Thus, the co-ordination complex formed between Cu(II) in C-dots and PGL results in quenching of the fluorescence of C-dots. In addition, the formation of a yellow color due to complex formation between the nanoprobe and Cu(II) allowed the colorimetric determination of PGL. The nanoprobe was prepared by thermal synthesis, using ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid salt and copper(II) chloride as sources for carbon, nitrogen and copper, respectively. The carbon dots were characterized by UV-VIS spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, powder X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy) and dynamic light scattering. Fluorescence drops linearly in the 0.15 to 70 μM PGL concentration range with a detection limit of 39 nM and a relative standard deviation of 1.8%. The optimal excitation and emission wavelengths are 370 nm and 428 nm, respectively. The colorimetric assay has a linear response at 325 nm absorption wavelengths in the 6 to 140 μM PGL concentration range with a detection limit of 1.8 μM and a 2.3% relative standard deviation.

Graphical abstract

Dual mode colorimetric and fluorimetric nanoprobe was designated for pyrolgallol determination based on complexation with copper(II)- and nitrogen-doped carbon dots.


Thermal method Quinone like structure Quenching Yellow color Environmental water analysis 


Supplementary material

604_2019_3892_MOESM1_ESM.doc (11.3 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 11529 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutical Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of PharmacyAssiut UniversityAssiutEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Pharmaceutical Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of PharmacyAl-Azhar UniversityAssiutEgypt

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