New application of Mn-doped ZnS quantum dots: phosphorescent sensor for the rapid screening of chloramphenicol and tetracycline residues
In this work, a new application of Mn-doped ZnS quantum dots (Mn-ZnS QDs) was developed to screen chloramphenicol (CAP) and tetracycline (TC) residues simply and rapidly. Mn-ZnS QDs synthesized by a hydration method and modified by L-cysteine for better stability emit phosphorescence at 583 nm with the excitation wavelength at 289 nm. Based on the overlap of the Mn-ZnS QDs excitation spectra and CAP or TCs ultraviolet spectra, the excited light of the Mn-ZnS QDs was partially absorbed by CAP or TCs owing to the inner-filter effect (IFE), leading to a decrease in the phosphorescence intensity. The phosphorescence intensities of the samples prepared by mixing different TCs and CAP were in good agreement with the expected results from adding a single antibiotic sample. Therefore, the total molar concentrations of CAP and TCs could be screened based on the linear equation of a single standard substance. Represented by tetracycline (TC), as a member of the tetracycline family, under optimized conditions, showed a good linear relational concentration range over 4 orders of magnitude from 50 to 1.5 × 105 nM with a limit of detection (LOD; S/N ratio = 3) down to 8.6 nM. The phosphorescent sensor was also used to detect total TCs in actual samples successfully. The evaluations of the recovery rate and selectivity were good. These results demonstrated that the presented phosphorescent sensor can be a simple and rapid screening platform for CAP and TCs.