Synthesis of Ag2S quantum dots by a single-source precursor: an efficient electrode material for rapid detection of phenol†
Phenol and its derivatives are highly important chemicals in a variety of industrial products. However, their presence in ppm concentrations is extremely toxic for the environment in general and aquatic life specifically. Herein, we report the synthesis of highly mono-dispersed Ag2S quantum dots (QDs) with an average diameter of 11 nm from a single-source precursor, aiming to employ them as electrode materials for the detection of phenol. The as-prepared Ag2S QDs are immobilized on a glassy carbon (GC) electrode, and the electrochemical sensing of phenol using the developed Ag2S QD/GC electrode is observed to be within a wide range (1 μM to 16 mM). As compared with conventional sensing approaches, the present technique shows a much lower detection limit (0.015 μM) and higher sensitivity (61.2 μA mM−1 cm−2) towards phenol. In addition, the Ag2S QD/GC electrode-based sensor also exhibits good stability, repeatability, reproducibility and anti-interference ability. Thus, the sensor presents a great advantage for sensitive, rapid and cost-effective detection and quantification of phenol, indicating a promising potential for practical sensing applications.