Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 31(10), 971 (2015).

One-step Synthesis of Highly Luminescent Nitrogen-doped Carbon Dots for Selective and Sensitive Detection of Mercury(II) Ions and Cellular Imaging
Ying LIU,*1 Mei LIAO,*1 Xueling HE,*2 Xia LIU,*3 Xingming KOU,*1 and Dan XIAO*4
*1 College of Chemistry, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610064, P. R. China
*2 Experimental Animal Center, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610207, P. R. China
*3 College of Life Science, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610064, P. R. China
*4 College of Chemical Engineering, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, P. R. China
In this paper, nitrogen-doped carbon dots (N-CDs) with high quantum yield (QY) of 40.5% were prepared through a facile and straightforward hydrothermal route. The as-prepared N-CDs exhibited excellent photoluminescence properties, good water-solublity and photostability, negligible cytotoxicity and favourable biocompatibility. Such N-CDs were found to serve as an effective fluorescent sensor for selective and sensitive detection of Hg2+ in a wide linear response concentration range of 0 – 8 μM with a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.087 μM and could be applied to the determination of Hg2+ in environmental water samples. The corresponding mechanisms were discussed in detail. Moreover, another attractive finding was that the N-CDs showed satisfactory performance in bioimaging before and after the addition of Hg2+ in human lung cancer PC14 cells. With excellent sensitivity, selectivity and biocompatibility, such cheap carbonmaterials are potentially suitable for monitoring of Hg2+ in environmental applications and promising for biological applications.