Facile and Scalable Preparation of Fluorescent Carbon Dots for Multifunctional Applications
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© 2017 THE AUTHORS The synthesis of fluorescent nanomaterials has received considerable attention due to the great potential of these materials for a wide range of applications, from chemical sensing through bioimaging to optoelectronics. Herein, we report a facile and scalable approach to prepare fluorescent carbon dots (FCDs) via a one-pot reaction of citric acid with ethylenediamine at 150 °C under ambient air pressure. The resultant FCDs possess an optical bandgap of 3.4 eV and exhibit strong excitation-wavelength-independent blue emission (?Em= 450 nm) under either one- or two-photon excitation. Owing to their low cytotoxicity and long fluorescence lifetime, these FCDs were successfully used as internalized fluorescent probes in human cancer cell lines (HeLa cells) for two-photon excited imaging of cells by fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy with a high-contrast resolution. They were also homogenously mixed with commercial inks and used to draw fluorescent patterns on normal papers and on many other substrates (e.g., certain flexible plastic films, textiles, and clothes). Thus, these nanomaterials are promising for use in solid-state fluorescent sensing, security labeling, and wearable optoelectronics.
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