Department of Chemistry
N-rich metal-free and metal-doped carbon quantum dots (CQDs) have been prepared through one-step hydrothermal method using tetraphenylporphyrin or its transition metal (Pd or Pt) complex as precursor. The structures and morphology of the as-prepared nanoparticles were analyzed by X-ray diffraction, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectra. Three kinds of nanocomposites show similar structures except for the presence of metal ions in Pd-CQDs and Pt-CQDs indicated by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. All of them display bright blue emission upon exposure to ultraviolet irradiation. The CQDs exhibit typical excitation-dependent emission behavior, with the emission quantum yield of 10.1%, 17.8%, and 15.2% for CQDs, Pd-CQDs, and Pt-CQDs, respectively. Moreover, the CQDs, Pd-CQDs, and Pt-CQDs could serve as fluorescent probes for the specific and sensitive detection of Fe3+ ions in aqueous solution. The low cytotoxicity of CQDs is demonstrated by MTT assay against HeLa cells. Therefore, the CQDs can be used as efficient probes for cellular multicolor imaging and fluorescence sensors for the detection of Fe3+ ions due to their low toxicity, excellent biocompatibility, and low detection limits. This work provides a new route to synthesize highly luminescent N-rich metal-free or metal-doped CQDs for multifunctional applications.
carbon quantum dots, porphyrin, biosensing, bioimaging, Fe3+
Source Publication Title
International Journal of Nanomedicine
Dove Medical Press
This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License.
We are thankful for the support from National Natural Science Foundation of China (21601142), Natural Science Foundation of Hubei Province (2017CFB689), and the Wuhan Science and Technology Talent Training Program of Chenguang Project (2015070404010190). Xunji Zhu thanks Hong Kong Research Grants Council (HKBU 22304115-ECS) and the financial support from Hong Kong Baptist University (FRG2/14-15/034).
Link to Publisher's Edition
Wu, F., Su, H., Wang, K., Wong, W., & Zhu, X. (2017). Facile synthesis of N-rich carbon quantum dots from porphyrins as efficient probes for bioimaging and biosensing in living cells. International Journal of Nanomedicine, 2017 (12), 7375-7391. https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S147165