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Synthesis of copper–nitrogen codoped carbon quantum dots using frangipani as a carbon source and application of metronidazole determination

Yuwei Lan, Wenbin Bao, Chunfeng Liang, Guowei Li, Liya Zhou, Jiachu Yang, Liubai Wei, and Qionghua Su

College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Guangxi University, Nanning, China



Received: 2 March 2022  Accepted: 10 September 2022


High-fluorescence Cu/N-codoped carbon quantum dots (Cu/NCQDs) were prepared by a one-step hydrothermal method using frangipani and copper acetate hydrate. The prepared Cu/NCQDs exhibited a nearly spherical morphology, and the average particle size was 2.58 nm. The surface of the Cu/NCQDs contains abundant hydrophilic groups –OH, –NH2 and –COOH, which explains their high water solubility. The Cu/NCQDs exhibited high-intensity, stable blue fluorescence that is independent of the excitation wavelength. As metronidazole can effectively quench the fluorescence intensity of Cu/NCQDs, a metronidazole fluorescence-detection method using Cu/NCQDs as the fluorescence probe was developed, and the quenching mechanism was studied. The method has the advantages of simplicity, speed, and low cost. Besides, the linear equation was F =  − 3.235 + 9.064 C(MNZ)(μmol/L), the correlation coefficient (R2) was 0.996, and the detection limit was 0.28 μmol/L. Further, the metronidazole content in actual samples was determined using this method; the recovery rates of the metronidazole tablets and honey samples were 96.8–103.7%, and relative standard deviation was lower than 6%.

Keywords: Cu/NCQDs; Fluorescence; Metronidazole; Fluorescence probe

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-022-02487-4


Chemical Papers 77 (2) 1005–1015 (2023)

Friday, May 24, 2024

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