A simple “signal-on” photoelectrochemical (PEC) aptasensor is constructed for Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) detection based on electrochemically reduced graphene oxide/poly(5-formylindole)/Au (erGO/P5FIn/Au) nanocomposites. The nanocomposites are synthesized by simple electrochemical deposition method and show good photoelectrochemical performance. Poly(5-formylindole) (P5FIn) can generate electron-hole pairs under light irradiation, leading to the formation of robust cathode photocurrent. Au can be acted as signal amplifier due to the high conductivity. The erGO is used to immobilize AFB1 aptamer chain by π-π stacking interaction between the carbon six-membered ring in graphene and the C-N heterocyclic ring in nucleobases of ssDNA. After the insulating AFB1 aptamer chain is fixed to the electrode, the signal of PEC sensor is “OFF”. In the process of AFB1 detection, the aptamer chain detaches from the surface of erGO, which results in “ON” of the sensor signal. Based on this design, this constructed PEC aptasensor shows a high sensitivity for AFB1 with a wide linear detection range (LDR) from 0.01 ng mL−1 to 100 ng mL−1. The limit of detection (LOD) is 0.002 ng mL−1. This PEC sensor also exhibits good stability, selectivity, specificity, and satisfactory practical sample analysis ability. This work may provide a new promising PEC platform for AFB1 detection as well as some other small molecules analysis.

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