Rapid preparation of homogeneous carbon dots with yellow fluorescence and formation mechanistic investigation

  • Jianfei Wei
  • Jianwei Gao
  • Yao Liu
  • Guo Zheng
  • Rui WangEmail author
Research Paper


In this study, homogeneous carbon dots with yellow fluorescence and high absolute fluorescence quantum yields (78.6%) were firstly prepared through a one-step solvothermal method without complicated process of separation, in which sodium citrate, carbamide, and anhydrous calcium chloride were adopted as precursors, while toluene was selected as solvent. The as-prepared carbon dots with an average size of 5.9 nm have a high degree of crystallinity. According to the discussion of the formation mechanism carbon dots, it is found that the toluene guarantee the formation of crystalline core and Ca2+ promotes the formation of carbonaceous core with high crystallinity, which is responsible for the ultrahigh quantum yield. Furthermore, the fluorescent properties of carbon dots are excellent in organic solvents and could be quenched by water, making them a promising material used without any modification in the detection of water in organic solvents, which has a great influence on organic chemical reaction, and may even determine the resultant, yield, and selectivity of organic reaction.


Carbon dots Ultrahigh quantum yield Yellow fluorescence Detection of water content Quantum dot 



The authors sincerely acknowledge the advice of manuscript writing from Prof. Xianwei Meng of Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11051_2019_4510_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.5 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 1588 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Material Science and EngineeringTianjin Polytechnic UniversityTianjinPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Material Science and EngineeringBeijing Institute of Fashion TechnologyBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Research Institute for New Materials TechnologyChongqiong University of Arts and SciencesChongqingPeople’s Republic of China

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