Microchimica Acta

, 186:147 | Cite as

Hydrothermal synthesis of carbon dots codoped with nitrogen and phosphorus as a turn-on fluorescent probe for cadmium(II)

  • Liping LinEmail author
  • Yuhan Wang
  • Yanling Xiao
  • Wei Liu
Original Paper


Nitrogen and phosphorus co-doped carbon dots (N,P-CDs) have been synthesized via hydrothermal method starting from o-phosphorylethanolamine and citric acid. The blue-green fluorescence of the N,P-CDs (with excitation/emission peaks at 325/435 nm) is gradually enhanced on sequential addition of Cd(II) ions. This fluorometric assay works in the 0.5 μM to 12.5 μM Cd(II) concentration range and has a 0.16 μM detection limit. The phenomenon may be attributed to chelation enhanced fluorescence that is induced by the formation of Cd(II)-N,P-CDs complex with functional groups present on the surface. The method has applied to the detection of Cd(II) in spiked serum and urine samples and gave satisfying results.

Graphical abstract

Schematic presentation of the synthesis of nitrogen and phosphorus co-doped carbon dots (N,P-CDs) and their application as a turn-on fluorescence probe for Cd(II) detection.


Nitrogen and phosphorus co-doped carbon dots Fluorescence enhancement Cd(II) detection Chelation enhanced fluorescence 



This research work was financially supported by Nature Science Foundation from Science and Technology Department of Fujian Province (No. 2018 J05013), Education Research Project for Young and Middle-aged Teachers of Fujian Province (No. JT180136) and Outstanding Youth Research Training Program of Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (xjq201818), which were gratefully acknowledged.

Compliance with ethical standards

The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

604_2019_3264_MOESM1_ESM.docx (6.5 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 6.54 mb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied Chemistry, College of Life SciencesFujian Agriculture and Forestry UniversityFuzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Bioinformatics, College of Life SciencesFujian Agriculture and Forestry UniversityFuzhouChina

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