Facile synthesis of nitrogen-doped carbon dots for Fe3+ sensing and cellular imaging

Xiaojuan Gong, Wenjing Lu, Man Chin Paau, Qin Hu, Xin Wu, Shaomin Shuang, Chuan Dong, Martin M F CHOI*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

279 Citations (Scopus)


A fast and facile approach to synthesize highly nitrogen (N)-doped carbon dots (N-CDs) by microwave-assisted pyrolysis of chitosan, acetic acid and 1,2-ethylenediamine as the carbon source, condensation agent and N-dopant, respectively, is reported. The obtained N-CDs are fully characterized by elemental analysis, transmission electron microscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction pattern, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, UV-vis absorption, and photoluminescence spectroscopy. Doping N heteroatoms benefits the generation of N-CDs with stronger fluorescence emission. As the emission of N-CDs is efficiently quenched by Fe3+, the as-prepared N-CDs are employed as a highly sensitive and selective probe for Fe3+ detection. The detection limit can reach as low as 10ppb, and the linear range is 0.010-1.8ppm Fe3+. The as-synthesized N-CDs have been successfully applied for cell imaging and detecting Fe3+ in biosystem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-84
Number of pages11
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy

User-Defined Keywords

  • Cell image
  • Chitosan
  • EDA
  • Fe detection
  • Nitrogen-doped carbon dots


Dive into the research topics of 'Facile synthesis of nitrogen-doped carbon dots for Fe3+ sensing and cellular imaging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this