Unveiling carcinogenic pollutant levels in environmental water samples through facile fabrication of gold nanoparticles on sulfur-doped graphitic carbon nitride

N. S.K. Gowthaman, P. Arul, Ajay Ajith, Wei Sea Chang, Vellaichamy Balakumar, Jae Jin Shim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Extensive utilization of pesticides and herbicides to boost agricultural production increased the environmental health risks, which can be mitigate with the aid of highly sensitive detection systems. In this study, an electrochemical sensor for monitoring the carcinogenic pesticides in the environmental samples has been developed based on sulfur-doped graphitic-carbon nitride–gold nanoparticles (SCN-AuNPs) nanohybrid. Thermal polycondensation of melamine with thiourea followed by solvent exfoliation via ultrasonication leads to SCN formation and electroless deposition of AuNPs on SCN leads to SCN-AuNPs nanohybrid synthesis. The chemical composition, S-doping, and the morphology of the nanohybrid were confirmed by various microscopic and spectroscopic tools. The as-synthesized nanohybrid was fabricated with glassy carbon (GC) electrode for determining the carcinogenic hydrazine (HZ) and atrazine (ATZ) in field water samples. The present sensor exhibited superior electrocatalytic activity than GC/SCN and GC/AuNPs electrodes due to the synergism between SCN and AuNPs and the amperometric studies showed the good linear range of detection of 20 nM–0.5 mM and 500 nM–0.5 mM with the limit of detection of 0.22 and 69 nM (S/N = 3) and excellent sensitivity of 1173.5 and 13.96 μA mM−1 cm−2 towards HZ and ATZ, respectively. Ultimately, the present sensor is exploited in environmental samples for monitoring HZ and ATZ and the obtained results are validated with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) technique. The excellent recovery percentage and close agreement with the results of HPLC analysis proved the practicability of the present sensor. In addition, the as-prepared materials were utilized for the photocatalytic degradation of ATZ and the SCN-AuNPs nanohybrid exhibited higher photocatalytic activity with the removal efficiency of 93.6% at 90 min. Finally, the degradation mechanism was investigated and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119121
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2024


  • Carcinogenic environmental pollutants
  • Electrocatalytic activity
  • Environmental samples
  • Hydrazine and atrazine
  • Photocatalytic degradation
  • S-doped g–CN–AuNPs nanohybrid

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