Nanomaterials (Basel, Switzerland)

Capacitively Coupled Plasma Discharge of Ionic Liquid Solutions to Synthesize Carbon Dots as Fluorescent Sensors.

PMID 29861431


Oxygen and nitrogen capacitively coupled plasma (CCP) was used to irradiate mixtures of aliphatic acids in high boiling point solvents to synthesize fluorescent carbon dots (C-dots). With a high fluorescence intensity, the C-dots obtained from the O₂/CCP radiation of a 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium dicyanamide ionic liquid solution of citric acid were characterized with an average diameter of 8.6 nm (σ = 1.1 nm), nitrogen and oxygen bonding functionalities, excitation-independent emissions, and upconversion fluorescence. Through dialysis of the CCP-treated C-dots, two emissive surface states corresponding to their respective functionalities and emissions were identified. The fluorescence spectrum of the CCP-treated C-dots was different from that of the microwave irradiation and possessed higher intensity than that of hydrothermal pyrolysis. By evaluation of the fluorescence quenching effect on flavonoids and metal ions, the CCP-treated C-dots showed a high selectivity for quercetin and sensitivity to Hg2+. Based on the Perrin model, a calibration curve (R² = 0.9992) was established for quercetin ranging from 2.4 μM to 119 μM with an LOD (limit of detection) = 0.5 μM. The quercetin in the ethanol extract of the sun-dried peel of Citrus reticulata cv. Chachiensis was determined by a standard addition method to be 4.20 ± 0.15 mg/g with a matrix effect of 8.16%.

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