Microchimica Acta

, 185:104 | Cite as

Microwave-assisted synthesis of highly luminescent N- and S-co-doped carbon dots as a ratiometric fluorescent probe for levofloxacin

  • Huiyu Li
  • Yuan Xu
  • Jie Ding
  • Li Zhao
  • Tianyu Zhou
  • Hong Ding
  • Yanhua Chen
  • Lan Ding
Original Paper


Uniform N- and S-co-doped carbon dots (NSCDs) with fluorescence quantum yields of up to 64% were synthesized via a one-step microwave-assisted method. Ammonium citrate and L-cysteine act as precursors, and synthesis is completed in 2.5 min using a 750 W microwave oven to give a 62% yield. The NSCDs show bright blue fluorescence (with excitation/emission peaks at 353/426 nm) and have narrow size distribution. On exposure to levofloxacin (LEV), the emission maximum shifts to 499 nm. This effect was used to design ratiometric (2-wavelength) assays for LEV. The fluorometric method (based on measurement of the fluorescence intensity ratio at 499 and 426 nm) has a detection limit of 5.1 μg·L−1 (3σ/k) and a linear range that extends from 0.01 to 70 mg·L−1. The method was applied to the determination of LEV in three kinds of spiked water samples and has recoveries in the range from 98.6 to 106.8%. The fluorescent probe described here is highly selective and sensitive.

Graphical Abstract

Highly luminescent N- and S-co-doped carbon dots were synthesized using AC (ammonium citrate) and Cys (L-cysteine) by microwave-assisted method, and were applied to the visual and ratiometric fluorescence determination of LEV (levofloxacin).


Nanoparticles Nitrogen and sulfur co-doped Luminescence Excitation independent Fluorescence quantum yields Fluorescence quenching Electron transfer Water analysis Antibiotic drug 



This work was supported by the Development Program of the Ministry of Science and Technology of Jilin Province, China (Grant number 20150204070GX).

Compliance with ethical standards

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

Supplementary material

604_2017_2619_MOESM1_ESM.docx (185.9 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 185 mb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of ChemistryJilin UniversityChangchunChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Urban Water Resource and EnvironmentHarbin Institute of TechnologyHarbinChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Inorganic Synthesis and Preparative Chemistry, College of ChemistryJilin UniversityChangchunChina

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