Investigation into the fluorescence quenching behaviors and applications of carbon dots†
Carbon dots (CDs) are novel fluorescent materials with low toxicity and good biocompatibility. Herein, the collisional/dynamic and photoluminescence (PL) center destruction quenching behaviors of a novel type of CDs were investigated. Moreover, the quenching behaviors of the CDs were exploited in applications. Firstly, dynamic PL quenching was achieved by Fe3+ ions, which was proved by the Stern–Volmer equation, temperature dependent quenching and fluorescence lifetime measurements. Furthermore, a hemin sensor based on the Fe3+/CDs system was achieved. Secondly, quenching induced by PL center destruction was caused by hydroxyl radicals (˙OH), which were produced by high power UV light or the H2O2/Fe2+ system; thus an H2O2 sensor with a low detection limit (0.9 ppb) was realized. Finally, we assumed that the CDs are really composed of cross-linked molecular clusters, and that the PL centers of the as prepared CDs are certain molecular/chemical groups.