Microchimica Acta

, Volume 184, Issue 5, pp 1369–1377 | Cite as

Molecularly imprinted polymers labeled with amino-functionalized carbon dots for fluorescent determination of 2,4-dinitrotoluene

  • Jingjing Dai
  • Xiaoqing Dong
  • Maria Fidalgo de Cortalezzi
Original Paper


The authors have prepared amino-functionalized carbon dots (AC-dots) and applied them to fluorescently label a molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) prepared by using 2,4-dinitrotoluene (DNT) as a template. Since DNT can retard vinyl polymerization, poly(methyl acrylate-co-acrylic acid) was used as a monomer. Non-imprinted polymers (NIPs) were also synthesized in order to compare data. As expected, MIPs exhibit higher adsorption than NIPs, with imprinting efficiencies ranging from 2 to 2.5. DNT is specifically captured by the cavities in the MIP and interact with AC-dots on the surface, resulting in quenching of the fluorescence of the AC-dots. Response to DNT reaches equilibrium within ~30 min. The method has a dynamic range that extends from 1 to 15 ppm, and allows for quantitation of DNT in aqueous solutions, with a detection limit of 0.28 ppm. Selectivity tests conducted in presence of DNT analogs demonstrated the selective recognition of DNT.

Graphical Abstract

Schematic of the preparation of molecularly imprinted polymers labeled with amino-functionalized carbon dots (AC-dots) for the quenchometric determination of 2,4-dinitrotoluene (DNT).


Surface modification Quenching Fluorometry Stern-Volmer plot Poly(methyl acrylate-co-acrylic acid) Silica colloidal crystal Nitroaromatic compounds 


Compliance with ethical standards

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

Supplementary material

604_2017_2123_MOESM1_ESM.docx (6.3 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 6478 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jingjing Dai
    • 1
  • Xiaoqing Dong
    • 2
  • Maria Fidalgo de Cortalezzi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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