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Rational synthesis of highly efficient ultra-narrow red-emitting carbon quantum dots for NIR-II two-photon bioimaging

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Abstract

Despite the growing research interest in highly bio-compatible carbon quantum dots (CQDs) for bioimaging, the synthesis of red-emitting CQDs with high photoluminescence efficiency and a sharp emission spectrum remains a formidable challenge in this field. Herein, we established a rational strategy for the synthesis of highly efficient ultra-narrow red-emitting CQDs by adopting a conjugated aromatic amine precursor (tris(4-aminophenyl)amine, TAPA) and introducing oxidative radical reagents. The resultant CQDs, T-CQDs featured red PL (615 ± 2 nm) with a high photoluminescence quantum yield (84 ± 5%) and a narrow emission linewidth (FWHM = 27 ± 1 nm), which together represented one of the highest levels in the field of CQDs so far. The T-CQDs were then further analyzed from the spectral and structural aspects, and the repeatability and universality of this strategy have also been discussed. Finally, the T-CQDs were successfully applied for both one-photon imaging and two-photon imaging with various bio-samples, both in vitro and in vivo.

Graphical abstract: Rational synthesis of highly efficient ultra-narrow red-emitting carbon quantum dots for NIR-II two-photon bioimaging

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Article information


Submitted
08 Nov 2019
Accepted
13 Dec 2019
First published
13 Dec 2019

Nanoscale, 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Paper

Rational synthesis of highly efficient ultra-narrow red-emitting carbon quantum dots for NIR-II two-photon bioimaging

Y. Liu, H. Gou, X. Huang, G. Zhang, K. Xi and X. Jia, Nanoscale, 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9NR09524A

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