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One-step green synthesis of water-soluble fluorescent carbon dots and its application in the detection of Cu2+

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journal contribution
posted on 14.03.2022, 13:18 by Saheed SanniSaheed Sanni, Theo Moundzounga, Elemena Oseghe, Nils Haneklaus, Elvera Viljoen, Hendrik BrinkHendrik Brink
Dataset for a journal article titled 'One-Step Green Synthesis of Water-Soluble Fluorescent Carbon Dots and Its application in the detection of Cu2+' published on Nanomaterials Journal.

Renewable biowaste-derived carbon dots have garnered immense interest owing to their exceptional optical, fluorescence, chemical, and environmentally friendly attributes, which have been exploited for the detection of metals, non-metals, and organics in the environment. In the present study, water-soluble fluorescent carbon dots (CDs) were synthesized via facile green microwave pyrolysis of pine-cone biomass as precursors, without any chemical additives. The synthesized fluorescent pine-cone carbon dots (PC-CDs) were spherical in shape with a bimodal particle-size distribution (average diameters of 15.2 nm and 42.1 nm) and a broad absorption band of between 280 and 350 nm, attributed to a π-π* and n-π* transition. The synthesized PC-CDs exhibited the highest fluorescent (FL) intensity at an excitation wavelength of 360 nm, with
maximum emission of 430 nm. The synthesized PC-CDs were an excellent fluorescent probe for the selective detection of Cu 2+ in aqueous solution, amidst the presence of other metal ions. The FL intensity of PC-CDs was exceptionally quenched in the presence of Cu 2+ ions, with a low detection limit of 0.005 μg/mL; this was largely ascribed to Cu 2+ ion binding interactions with the enriched surface functional groups on the PC-CDs. As-synthesized PC-CDs are an excellent, cost effective, and sensitive probe for detecting and monitoring Cu 2+ metal ions in wastewater.


Vaal University of Technology

Max-Buchner-Forschungsstiftung: 3824

University of Pretoria

Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD): KOEF 01/2019, APPEAR Prep222, Africa UniNet P056, BG 01/2021, and TW 01/2021.



Chemical Engineering