Microwave-assisted synthesis of carbon dots as reductant and stabilizer for silver nanoparticles with enhanced-peroxidase like activity for colorimetric determination of hydrogen peroxide and glucose


A carbon silver nano-assembly was prepared from silver nanoparticles and carbon dots (AgNP@CD). It was used to quantify hydrogen peroxide and glucose by UV-visible spectroscopy. Banana peels were used to prepare the CDs by a microwave-assisted method. The CDs can be prepared within 5 min at 700 W. They act as (a) substrate, (b) stabilizer, and (c) reductant to convert silver ions to AgNPs. The nano-assembly was characterized by UV-visible spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. The CDs have a particle size of 1.4 nm. Photoexcitation of the CDs with a UV lamp of 365 nm results in blue fluorescence. The absorption spectra of the CDs show a peak at 205 nm along the wide shoulder absorption band. On incorporation of the Ag nanoparticles into the CDs matrix, the color of the CDs turns into yellow and an additional absorbance peak at 408 nm appears. FTIR spectroscopy shows that different functional groups are present on the CDs. They are responsible for the stabilization of the AgNPs. On exposure to H2O2, the color of the nano-assembly disappears gradually. Hence, the assembly can be used as a colorimetric indicator probe for H2O2 with a linear response in the 0.1-100 μM concentration range. It can also be applied to the determination of glucose by using glucose oxidase which causes the formation of H2O2 from glucose. The linear response ranges from 1- 600 μM. The detection limits for H2O2 and glucose are 9 nM and 10 nM, respectively. In our perception, this is the lowest detection limit reported so far. The AgNP@CD nano-assembly does not respond to saccharides, maltose, fructose, and lactose. It can be used to quantify glucose in diluted blood plasma.

Schematic representation of microwave-assisted synthesis of AgNP@CDs with enhanced-peroxidase like activity for colorimetric determination of hydrogen peroxide and glucose.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5


  1. 1.

    Hadwiger LA, Tanaka K (2017) Non-host resistance: DNA damage is associated with SA signaling for induction of PR genes and contributes to the growth suppression of a pea pathogen on pea endocarp tissue. Front Plant Sci 8:446–457

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Grisham MB (2013) Methods to detect hydrogen peroxide in living cells: possibilities and pitfalls. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol 165(4):429–438. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpa.2013.02.003

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Chen X, Wu G, Cai Z, Oyama M, Chen X (2014) Advances in enzyme-free electrochemical sensors for hydrogen peroxide, glucose, and uric acid. Microchim Acta 181(7-8):689–705

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Wolfbeis OS, Dürkop A, Wu M, Lin Z (2002) A europium-ion-based luminescent sensing probe for hydrogen peroxide. Angew Chem Int Ed 41(23):4495–4498

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Aziz A, Asif M, Ashraf G, Azeem M, Majeed I, Ajmal M, Wang J, Liu H (2019) Advancements in electrochemical sensing of hydrogen peroxide, glucose and dopamine by using 2D nanoarchitectures of layered double hydroxides or metal dichalcogenides. A review. Microchimica Acta 186(10):671

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Rivero PJ, Ibañez E, Goicoechea J, Urrutia A, Matias IR, Arregui FJ (2017) A self-referenced optical colorimetric sensor based on silver and gold nanoparticles for quantitative determination of hydrogen peroxide. Sensors Actuators B Chem 251:624–631

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Guo Z-X, Shen H-X, Li L (1999) Spectrophotometric determination of hydrogen peroxide and glucose based on hemin peroxidase-like catalyzed oxidation of bromopyrogallol red. Microchim Acta 131(3-4):171–176

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Hanaoka S, Lin J-M, Yamada M (2001) Chemiluminescent flow sensor for H 2 O 2 based on the decomposition of H 2 O 2 catalyzed by cobalt (II)-ethanolamine complex immobilized on resin. Anal Chim Acta 426(1):57–64

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Cai Q, Meng H, Liu Y, Li Z (2019) Fluorometric determination of glucose based on a redox reaction between glucose and aminopropyltriethoxysilane and in-situ formation of blue-green emitting silicon nanodots. Microchim Acta 186(2):78. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00604-018-3189-4

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Mattarozzi L, Cattarin S, Comisso N, Guerriero P, Musiani M, Verlato E (2016) Preparation of porous nanostructured Ag electrodes for sensitive electrochemical detection of hydrogen peroxide. Electrochim Acta 198:296–303

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Chen S, Hai X, Chen X-W, Wang J-H (2014) In situ growth of silver nanoparticles on graphene quantum dots for ultrasensitive colorimetric detection of H2O2 and glucose. Anal Chem 86(13):6689–6694

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Lin L, Song X, Chen Y, Rong M, Zhao T, Wang Y, Jiang Y, Chen X (2015) Intrinsic peroxidase-like catalytic activity of nitrogen-doped graphene quantum dots and their application in the colorimetric detection of H 2 O 2 and glucose. Anal Chim Acta 869:89–95

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Lin T, Zhong L, Wang J, Guo L, Wu H, Guo Q, Fu F, Chen G (2014) Graphite-like carbon nitrides as peroxidase mimetics and their applications to glucose detection. Biosens Bioelectron 59:89–93

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Su L, Feng J, Zhou X, Ren C, Li H, Chen X (2012) Colorimetric detection of urine glucose based ZnFe2O4 magnetic nanoparticles. Anal Chem 84(13):5753–5758

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Choleva TG, Gatselou VA, Tsogas GZ, Giokas DL (2018) Intrinsic peroxidase-like activity of rhodium nanoparticles, and their application to the colorimetric determination of hydrogen peroxide and glucose. Microchim Acta 185(1):22

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Zong C, Li B, Wang J, Liu X, Zhao W, Zhang Q, Nie X, Yu Y (2018) Visual and colorimetric determination of H2O2 and glucose based on citrate-promoted H2O2 sculpturing of silver nanoparticles. Microchim Acta 185(3):199

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Zarif F, Rauf S, Qureshi MZ, Shah NS, Hayat A, Muhammad N, Rahim A, Nawaz MH, Nasir M (2018) Ionic liquid coated iron nanoparticles are promising peroxidase mimics for optical determination of H 2 O 2. Microchim Acta 185(6):302

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Palazzo G, Facchini L, Mallardi A (2012) Colorimetric detection of sugars based on gold nanoparticle formation. Sensors Actuators B Chem 161(1):366–371

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Bankar A, Joshi B, Kumar AR, Zinjarde S (2010) Banana peel extract mediated novel route for the synthesis of silver nanoparticles. Colloids Surf Physicochem Eng Aspects 368(1):58–63. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfa.2010.07.024

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Menon S, Rajeshkumar S, Kumar SV (2017) A review on biogenic synthesis of gold nanoparticles, characterization, and its applications. Resource-Efficient Technologies 3(4):516–527. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.reffit.2017.08.002

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Rosi H, Kalyanasundaram S (2018) Synthesis, characterization, structural and optical properties of titanium-dioxide nanoparticles using Glycosmis cochinchinensis leaf extract and its photocatalytic evaluation and antimicrobial properties. World News of Natural Sciences 17:1–15

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Gopinath V, MubarakAli D, Priyadarshini S, Priyadharsshini NM, Thajuddin N, Velusamy P (2012) Biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles from Tribulus terrestris and its antimicrobial activity: a novel biological approach. Colloids Surf B: Biointerfaces 96:69–74

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Natsuki J, Natsuki T, Hashimoto Y (2015) A review of silver nanoparticles: synthesis methods, properties and applications. Int J Mater Sci Appl 4:325–332

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Zhang S, Tang Y, Vlahovic B (2016) A review on preparation and applications of silver-containing nanofibers. Nanoscale Res Lett 11(1):80. https://doi.org/10.1186/s11671-016-1286-z

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Shen L, Chen M, Hu L, Chen X, Wang J (2013) Growth and stabilization of silver nanoparticles on carbon dots and sensing application. Langmuir 29(52):16135–16140

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Li Z, Friedrich A, Taubert A (2008) Gold microcrystal synthesis via reduction of HAuCl 4 by cellulose in the ionic liquid 1-butyl-3-methyl imidazolium chloride. J Mater Chem 18(9):1008–1014

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Kajita M, Hikosaka K, Iitsuka M, Kanayama A, Toshima N, Miyamoto Y (2007) Platinum nanoparticle is a useful scavenger of superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide. Free Radic Res 41(6):615–626

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Wen T, Qu F, Li NB, Luo HQ (2012) Polyethyleneimine-capped silver nanoclusters as a fluorescence probe for sensitive detection of hydrogen peroxide and glucose. Anal Chim Acta 749:56–62

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Wildgoose GG, Banks CE, Compton RG (2006) Metal nanoparticles and related materials supported on carbon nanotubes: methods and applications. Small 2(2):182–193

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Gogoi S, Kumar M, Mandal BB, Karak N (2016) A renewable resource based carbon dot decorated hydroxyapatite nanohybrid and its fabrication with waterborne hyperbranched polyurethane for bone tissue engineering. RSC Adv 6(31):26066–26076

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    Mansouri SS, Ghader S (2009) Experimental study on effect of different parameters on size and shape of triangular silver nanoparticles prepared by a simple and rapid method in aqueous solution. Arab J Chem 2(1):47–53

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    Lin L, Song X, Chen Y, Rong M, Zhao T, Wang Y, Jiang Y, Chen X (2015) Intrinsic peroxidase-like catalytic activity of nitrogen-doped graphene quantum dots and their application in the colorimetric detection of H2O2 and glucose. Anal Chim Acta 869:89–95. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aca.2015.02.024

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    Zhang Y, Liu S, Wang L, Qin X, Tian J, Lu W, Chang G, Sun X (2012) One-pot green synthesis of Ag nanoparticles-graphene nanocomposites and their applications in SERS, H 2 O 2, and glucose sensing. RSC Adv 2(2):538–545

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    Lu W, Luo Y, Chang G, Sun X (2011) Synthesis of functional SiO2-coated graphene oxide nanosheets decorated with Ag nanoparticles for H2O2 and glucose detection. Biosens Bioelectron 26(12):4791–4797

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  35. 35.

    Basiri S, Mehdinia A, Jabbari A (2018) A sensitive triple colorimetric sensor based on plasmonic response quenching of green synthesized silver nanoparticles for determination of Fe2+, hydrogen peroxide, and glucose. Colloids Surf A Physicochem Eng Asp 545:138–146

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  36. 36.

    Nguyen ND, Van Nguyen T, Chu AD, Tran HV, Tran LT, Huynh CD (2018) A label-free colorimetric sensor based on silver nanoparticles directed to hydrogen peroxide and glucose. Arab J Chem 11(7):1134–1143

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


The authors gratefully acknowledge H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry, International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of Karachi, Karachi-75270. Pakistan for financial support.

Author information



Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Urooj Gul or Abdur Rahim.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Electronic supplementary material


(DOCX 728 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Gul, U., Kanwal, S., Tabassum, S. et al. Microwave-assisted synthesis of carbon dots as reductant and stabilizer for silver nanoparticles with enhanced-peroxidase like activity for colorimetric determination of hydrogen peroxide and glucose. Microchim Acta 187, 135 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00604-019-4098-x

Download citation


  • Peroxidase mimetic
  • AgNPs
  • Colorimetric probe
  • Localized surface plasmon resonance
  • Green synthesis
  • LSPR