A novel sensing system was designed for pH measurements based on the enhanced and quenched photoluminescence (PL) and UV–Vis absorption of the diluted water solutions of F-, O-, and N-containing carbon nanoparticles (FON-CNPs). These FON-CNPs were solvothermally synthesized, dissolved, ultra-filtrated, and separated by thin-layer chromatography. The total fluorine content in them was found to be 1.2–1.5 mmol per gram. Their TGA showed a total weight loss of 52.7% because of the thermal decomposition and detachment of the surface groups and the partial burning of the functionalized shell on the carbon core at temperatures below 1200 °C. TEM and Raman data confirmed the presence of graphitic structures in the carbon core. From the results of ATR FTIR and UV–Vis spectroscopies, we showed that a carbon shell incorporates different functional groups covering the carbon core. The surface groups of the carbon shell include carboxyl, phenolic, and carbonyl groups. Heterocyclic N-containing and amino groups and trifluoromethyl groups supporting the hydrophobicity were also found. We suggested the possible reasons for the pH responses obtained with the sensing system considering them dependent on the de-protonation of functional groups with pH change.
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G.K. Mussabek, Y.T. Taurbayev, and V.V. Lisnyak acknowledge the support of Grant No AP08856579 of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan. G.K. Mussabek is grateful to Al-Farabi Kazakh National University for a Scholarship in the Postdoctoral Fellowship program. A.N. Zaderko and V.A. Skryshevsky recognize a support from the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, Grant No 0119U100326. A.N. Zaderko is also thankful for the scholarship of the National Scholarship Programme of the Slovak Republic, Grant No 32492. This work was partially supported by EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Staff Exchange Programme (RISE) under Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (project 101008159 “UNAT”).
Conflict of interest
A.N. Zaderko is the inventor of the WO2020121119 international patent publication. A.N. Zaderko is the owner of the trademark Fluocar® Nano UA213198 and US5479088. All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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Lisnyak, V.V., Zaderko, A.N., Mariychuk, R. et al. Preparation and characterization of F-, O-, and N-containing carbon nanoparticles for pH sensing. Appl Nanosci (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13204-021-01725-7
- F-,O-, and N-containing carbon NPs
- Solvothermal synthesis
- pH nanosensors