Research Article


2019, 12(4): 815–821


Red/orange dual-emissive carbon dots for pH sensing and cell imaging

Miaoran Zhang1, Rigu Su1, Jian Zhong2,3, Ling Fei4, Wei Cai1, Qingwen Guan1, Weijun Li1, Neng Li5, Yusheng Chen6, Lulu Cai2 (*), and Quan Xu1 (*)

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1 State Key Laboratory of Heavy Oil Processing, Beijing Key Laboratory of Biogas Upgrading Utilization, China University of Petroleum (Beijing), Beijing 102249, China
2 Personalized Drug Therapy Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Department of Pharmacy, Sichuan Provincial People’s Hospital, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 611731, China
3 School of Pharmacy, North Sichuan Medical College, Nanchong 637000, China
4 Chemical Engineering Department, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, LA 70504, USA
5 State Key Laboratory of Silicate Materials for Architectures, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
6 Department of Chemistry, University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325, USA

Keywords: carbon cell imaging, dual-emissive, photoluminescence, pH-sensitive, Ag+ probe
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The dual-emissive N, S co-doped carbon dots (N, S-CDs) with a long emission wavelength were synthesized via solvothermal method. The N, S-CDs possess relatively high photoluminescence (PL) quantum yield (QY) (35.7%) towards near-infrared fluorescent peak up to 648 nm. With the advanced characterization techniques including X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), etc. It is found that the doped N, S elements play an important role in the formation of high QY CDs. The N, S-CDs exist distinct pH-sensitive feature with reversible fluorescence in a good linear relationship with pH values in the range of 1.0–13.0. What is more, N, S-CDs can be used as an ultrasensitive Ag+ probe sensor with the resolution up to 0.4 μM. This finding will expand the application of as prepared N, S-CDs in sensing and environmental fields.
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Red/orange dual-emissive carbon dots for pH sensing and cell imaging. Nano Res. 2019, 12(4): 815–821

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