One-step facile preparation of carbon dots with high fluorescence quantum yield and application in rapid latent fingerprint detection†
The development of luminescent materials greatly affects the development of fluorescence imaging technology. The preparation of carbon dots (CDs) with high photoluminescence quantum yield (PLQY) in the solid-state is challenging due to excessive resonance energy transfer (RET) and direct π–π interactions. In this study, we synthesized carbon dots that exhibit green fluorescence (GCDs) with absolute PLQYs up to 35.65% in one step by a microwave-assisted method. In the solid-state, the absolute PLQY reached 19.25%. Then, the GCDs were mixed with soluble starch in appropriate proportions, which improved the adsorption and dispersion of the GCDs and greatly reduced the cost of the fingerprint powder, and increased the absolute PLQY of the fingerprint powder to 41.75%. Finally, we prepared GCDs for preliminary fabrication of luminescent films, and the GCD-starch powder was successfully applied to high-quality latent fingerprint (LFP) imaging. The related properties of GCDs and the LFP detection performance of fingerprint detection powders prepared by GCDs were studied in detail. The results showed that the LFP system developed with GCDs-starch powder visualized LFPs with high definition and contrast under different conditions, and GCDs had potential for application in light-emitting devices. This study developed a new type of solid-state luminescent CDs and demonstrated that these GCDs have great application potential for LFP detection. This study may also provide inspiration for other applications based on efficient solid-state fluorescence.