Facile synthesis of graphene quantum dots based on electrochemical method and their application for specific Fe3+ detection

Yang Fu1, 2, Runze Liu1, Jinfang Zhi1, 2*

1Key Laboratory of Photochemical Conversion and Optoelectronic Materials, Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.29 Zhongguancun East Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100190, PR China

2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.19 Yuquan Road, Shijingshan District, Beijing 100049, PR China

Adv. Mater. Lett., 2018, 9 (9), pp 614-618

DOI: 10.5185/amlett.2018.2052

Publication Date (Web): Jun 14, 2018

E-mail: fuyang15@mails.ucas.ac.cn


A novel electrochemical strategy for economical, environmental-friendly, simple and facile synthesis of glycine functionalized graphene quantum dots (GQDs) based on direct exfoliation and oxidation from graphite rods was reported. The average diameter of as-synthesized GQDs is 30 nm. Due to the rich nitrogen and oxygen functional groups on the surface of GQDs, the GQDs dispersion was bright yellow and further applied in selective detection of ferric ion (Fe3+). A sensor based on photoluminescence quenching of GQDs after adding Fe3+ has a limit of detection of 3.09 μM, which is lower than the maximum level (0.3 mg/L, equivalent to 5.4 µM) of Fe3+ permitted in drinking water by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The fluorescent sensor has a wide linear range of 10–150 μM. Moreover, due to the low cytotoxicity of as-prepared GQDs, this study may provide a new analytical platform for further applications of GQDs in real environmental and biological system.


Graphene quantum dots, ferric ion, electrochemical method, fluorescence.

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