Coral-shaped tin oxide incorporated graphitic carbon nitride nanosheets as peroxidase mimic for sensitive colorimetric and fluorescence quenching based detection of hydrogen peroxide


The enhanced peroxidase-like catalytic activity of coral-shaped graphitic carbon nitride (GCN) incorporated with tin oxide (SnO2) is here reported and applied for the sensitive and selective colorimetric detection of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The SnO2/GCN catalyzed the oxidation of 3, 3′, 5, 5′-tetramethylbenzidine, and H2O2 which resulted in the appearance/change of color in the visible range. The results of peroxidase-like activity showed that the growth of SnO2 on GCN nanosheets improved structure, optical, and electronic properties considerably. SnO2/GCN-40% showed the best activity because of the optimal loading of SnO2, unique structural, electronic, optical, and electrical properties. The catalytic reaction of coral-shaped SnO2/GCN-40% followed the typical Michaelis–Menten equation, and the affinity of coral-shaped SnO2/GCN-40% to TMB and H2O2 was higher than that of horseradish peroxide. The present study showed a rapid, selective, and sensitive response toward the H2O2 bioassay in a linear range of 10 − 655 μM with a limit of detection of 0.3 μM (S/N ratio of 3). The study may provide a promising method of performance improvement for applications in catalysis, biosensors, and nanomaterial-engineering fields.

Graphical abstract

Scheme shows the interaction of tin oxide with graphitic carbon nitride which resulted in a coral-shaped structure shown in SEM image. It also shows the interaction of tin oxide and graphitic carbon nitride with H2O2 in the presence of TMB (3,3′, 5,5′-Tetramethylbenzidine) and as a consequence, TMB gets oxidized and ended up in change in color.

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Aftab Ahmed thanks Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Biomedical Materials (IRCBM), COMSATS University Islamabad, Lahore Campus to allow him to use research facilities and acknowledges the efforts of his seniors and colleagues in guiding him to complete his PhD research work.


This work is supported by the Pakistan Science Foundation, Pakistan through its PSF-NSFC funded project [Project No. PSF/NSFC-II/Eng/P-COMSATS-Lhr (07)], and The World Academy of Sciences through COMSTECH-TWAS Joint Research Grants Programme having reference number 17-224 RG/MSN/AS_C–FR3240300073.

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Ahmed, A., Hayat, A., John, P. et al. Coral-shaped tin oxide incorporated graphitic carbon nitride nanosheets as peroxidase mimic for sensitive colorimetric and fluorescence quenching based detection of hydrogen peroxide. J Nanostruct Chem (2021).

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  • Coral-shaped graphitic carbon nitride
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Tin oxide
  • Colorimetric detection
  • Nanosheets
  • Peroxidase mimics