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Anal Chem. 2012 Jul 17;84(14):6220-4. doi: 10.1021/ac3012126. Epub 2012 Jun 25.

Polyamine-functionalized carbon quantum dots as fluorescent probes for selective and sensitive detection of copper ions.

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Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Analysis and Detection for Food Safety, Department of Chemistry, Fuzhou University, Fujian, China.


A novel sensing system has been designed for Cu(2+) ion detection based on the quenched fluorescence (FL) signal of branched poly(ethylenimine) (BPEI)-functionalized carbon quantum dots (CQDs). Cu(2+) ions can be captured by the amino groups of the BPEI-CQDs to form an absorbent complex at the surface of CQDs, resulting in a strong quenching of the CQDs' FL via an inner filter effect. Herein, we have demonstrated that this facile methodology can offer a rapid, reliable, and selective detection of Cu(2+) with a detection limit as low as 6 nM and a dynamic range from 10 to 1100 nM. Furthermore, the detection results for Cu(2+) ions in a river water sample obtained by this sensing system agreed well with that by inductively couple plasma mass spectrometry, suggesting the potential application of this sensing system.

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