Carbon dots (CDs) modified with ethylene diamine (EDA) and the amino acids (AAs) Cys, His, Lys or Arg were synthesized, and their structures were confirmed by high resolution transmission electron microscopy, Raman spectrometry and X-ray photoelectron spectrometry. It is found that derivatization of the CDs with various AAs systemically modulates their electronic properties, and this results in a tunable selectivity in detection of metal cations via fluorescence quenching. The probes can be performed in aqueous solutions around pH 7. CDs can be excited under 345 nm excitation at room temperature and exhibit fluorescent peak at 450 nm. The decreasing fluorescence intensity is directly proportional to the concentration of metal cations. The limits of detection is 8.8 μg L−1 for Pb(II), 20 μg L−1 for Hg(II), 3.7 μg L−1 for Cu(II), 5.3 μg L−1 for Zn(II), 16 μg L−1 for Fe(III), and 7.2 μg L−1 for Cr(III), respectively. The different fluorescence response of the AA-modified CDs can be converted to logic gates and applied to photoelectronic nanoprobes by using microprocessors. In our perception, this assay has a large potential in terms of high-throughput screening for trace amounts of metal ions.
Microchimica Acta – Springer Journals
Published: May 22, 2017
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