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Small. 2014 Jun 25;10(12):2382-9. doi: 10.1002/smll.201303827. Epub 2014 Mar 4.

Proton-functionalized two-dimensional graphitic carbon nitride nanosheet: an excellent metal-/label-free biosensing platform.

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  • 1School of Chemical Engineering, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, 5005, Australia.


Ultrathin graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) nanosheets, due to their interesting two-dimensional graphene-like structure and unique physicochemical properties, have attracted great research attention recently. Here, a new approach is developed to prepare, for the first time, proton-functionalized ultrathin g-C3N4 nanosheets by sonication-exfoliation of bulk g-C3N4 under an acid condition. This method not only reduces the exfoliation time from more than 10 h to 2 h, but also endows the nanosheets with positive charges. Besides retaining the properties of g-C3N4, the obtained nanosheets with the thickness of 2-4 nm (i.e., 6-12 atomic monolayers) also exhibit large specific surface area of 305 m(2) g(-1), enhanced fluorescence intensity, and excellent water dispersion stability due to their surface protonation and ultrathin morphology. The well-dispersed protonated g-C3N4 nanosheets are able to interact with negatively charged heparin, which results in the quenching of g-C3N4 fluorescence. A highly sensitive and highly selective heparin sensing platform based on protonated g-C3N4 nanosheets is established. This metal-free and fluorophore label-free system can reach the lowest heparin detection limit of 18 ng mL(-1).

© 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


biosensing; carbon nitride; fluorescence; heparin; nanosheets

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