Ultra-high quantum yield nitrogen-doped carbon quantum dots and their versatile application in fluorescence sensing, bioimaging and anti-counterfeiting.

Affiliation

Tan A(1), Yang G(1), Wan X(2).
Author information:
(1)Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Polymer Science and Technology, Guangdong Research Center for Interfacial Engineering of Functional Materials, College of Materials Science and Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, PR China.
(2)Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Polymer Science and Technology, Guangdong Research Center for Interfacial Engineering of Functional Materials, College of Materials Science and Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, PR China. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

The exploration of carbon quantum dots (CQDs) with ultra-high quantum yield, simple synthesis path, and satisfying output to facilitate their wide applications in numerous fields are always the research focus. In this work, nitrogen-doped carbon quantum dots (N-CQDs) with strong blue fluorescence were synthesized with a simple one-step hydrothermal method using citric acid and o-phenylenediamine as raw materials, and the absolute quantum yield was as high as 92.1%. The detailed research results demonstrate that the N-CQDs have outstanding fluorescence stability, high selectivity, and anti-interference in Hg2+ detection. The obtained N-CQDs also possess excellent biocompatibility, which can also be successfully applied in cell imaging and intracellular Hg2+ detection. Most importantly, due to their high quantum yield and excellent dispersibility, the N-CQDs solution can be used as a quick-drying fluorescent ink for ink-jet printing. Therefore, the as-prepared N-CQDs have great potential in fluorescence sensing, biomedical diagnosis, data encryption, and anti-counterfeiting.