Stepwise Assembly Protocols for the Rational Design of Lanthanide Functionalized Carbon Dots-Hydrogel and its Sensing Evaluation


Inorganic-organic optical probe based on lanthanide emission will provide a new way for specific applications. In this work, sarcosine and urea are selected as raw materials to synthesize carbon dots with cyan-emissive color. In the next step, indicator components (Ethylene Diamine Tetraacetic Acid and lanthanide ions) are incorporated onto carbon quantum dots (CQDs) and the flexible alginate hydrogel is employed as the host to accommodate the emissive species. The soft material can exhibit typical red and green emissions. Its luminescence is responsive to calcium ions and the detection limit has been calculated to be 0.84 μM and 0.92 μM respectively. Such optical device can be employed as a portable probe in a variety of scientific fields due to its convenience and flexibility.

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Q. M. appreciates the support from Science and Technology Plan of Guangdong Province (No. 2020A0505100055), Guangzhou Science and Technology Plan (No. 202002030325), Science and Technology Program of Guangzhou (No. 201905001) and Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Optical Information Materials and Technology (No. 2017B030301007). Q. Wen thanks for the support from Innovation Project of Graduate School of South China Normal University (2019LKXM009).

Author information




Qin Wen: Conceptualization, Investigation, Writing - original draft.

Yuhui Zheng: assisted with data collection and data analysis..

Wanqiang Liu: assisted with data collection and visualization.

Qianming Wang: Supervision, funding acquisition, writing and reviewing.

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Correspondence to Yuhui Zheng or Qianming Wang.

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Wen, Q., Zheng, Y., Liu, W. et al. Stepwise Assembly Protocols for the Rational Design of Lanthanide Functionalized Carbon Dots-Hydrogel and its Sensing Evaluation. J Fluoresc (2021).

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  • Carbon quantum dots
  • Lanthanide
  • Calcium
  • Soft material