Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.580, 88-98, 2020
Rapid conversion from common precursors to carbon dots in large scale: Spectral controls, optical sensing, cellular imaging and LEDs application
The commercial production of carbon dots will be concerned with the simplicity and energy consumption. Herein, maleic acid and m-phenylenediamine form elegantly simple sources for carbon dots. The two precursors are dissolved in formamid (abbreviated as FA) or N,N-dimethylformamide (abbreviated as DMF) and the dehydration-condensation processes have been performed at 30 min or 120 min under room temperature. No external energy/irradiations, reactants or high temperature will be required and the afforded carbon dots (abbreviated as CDs) are collected by extraction, centrifugation, dialysis and column chromatography. It has been found for the first time the choice of organic solvents has been correlated with emission color. The blue-emitting CDs (abbreviated as B-CDs) and green-emitting CDs (abbreviated as G-CDs) are yielded in FA and DMF respectively. Facts support that the increase of - CONH- units causes red-shift in emissions. The optical sensing of tetracycline has been explored and the detection limit of blue-emitting CDs is as low as 25 nM. Live cells exposed to B-CDs and G-CDs (0.5 mg/ml) show no apparent changes via both Cell Counting Kit-8 and Annexin V/7-AAD analysis. The blue and green fluorescent signals can be easily tracked in cells. It has been demonstrated that the two carbon dots can be fabricated as multiple-color light-emitting diodes (abbreviated as LEDs). (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.