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Carbon nanospheres with dual-color emission and their application in ratiometric pyrophosphate sensing

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Abstract

Herein, we employ pH-dependent solubility equilibrium to develop the one-pot aqueous synthesis of dual-color emission fluorescent carbon nanosphere (DFCSs) with novel physicochemical properties. Unexpectedly, some of the DFCSs have a regular nanosphere shape, containing uniform carbon dots (∼20 nm) on their surface. This may be attributed to the change in the surface composition of the carbon nanospheres under the strong alkaline conditions (pH 13), which results in dual-wavelength emission by single-wavelength excitation. Interestingly, the fluorescence intensities of the two emission peaks of the DFCSs at 315/410 nm can be simultaneously quenched upon the addition of Co2+ due to the strong coordination between Co2+ and the O-containing luminescent groups from the carbon dots and DFCSs. Also, the results demonstrate that one Co2+ simultaneously combines with two chromophoric groups. Furthermore, the quenched DFCSs exhibit high sensitivity for pyrophosphate (PPi) in the range of 0.075–200.0 μM through a fluorescence recovery process, which can be attributed to the stronger Co2+–O[double bond, length as m-dash]P bond. This results in the removal of Co2+ from the surface of DFCSs–Co2+ system via competitive adsorption interactions. Meanwhile, this sensor shows high selectivity for PPi over mercapto amino acid and phosphate in aqueous solution. These results indicate the DFCSs can act as a dual-signal PPi-selective sensor via a ratiometric competitive mechanism.

Graphical abstract: Carbon nanospheres with dual-color emission and their application in ratiometric pyrophosphate sensing

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Publication details

The article was received on 30 Aug 2018, accepted on 27 Oct 2018 and first published on 29 Oct 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8AN01676C
Citation: Analyst, 2018, Advance Article
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    Carbon nanospheres with dual-color emission and their application in ratiometric pyrophosphate sensing

    Z. Wang, Y. Gao, X. Yu, F. Kong, W. Wang, W. Lv and W. Wang, Analyst, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8AN01676C

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