Microchimica Acta

, 186:32 | Cite as

Phosphorus and chlorine co-doped carbon dots with strong photoluminescence as a fluorescent probe for ferric ions

  • Weijie Wang
  • Jiawei Peng
  • Feiming Li
  • Bingyuan Su
  • Xi Chen
  • Xiaomei ChenEmail author
Original Paper


Usually, carbon dots (CDs) display a relatively weak fluorescence quantum yield (QY). In order to obtain brighter CDs, phosphorus and chlorine co-doped CDs (P,Cl-CDs) were prepared via hydrothermal treatment of maltose in the presence of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids. The new CDs are highly monodispersed in water solution, have high fractions of P (14.4 atomic%) and Cl (8.9 atomic%), and exhibited yellow fluorescence with a QY of 15%. This is higher than that of monoatomic doped CDs (8.7 and 9.3% for P-CDs and Cl-CDs, respectively). The P,Cl-CDs are highly photostable, and fluorescence is strongly (statically) quenched by Fe(III). Fluorescence decreases with increasing concentration of Fe(III) in the range from 0.1–8.0 μmol⋅L-1, with a 60 nmol⋅L-1 detection limit. The doped CDs are shown to be a viable nanoprobe for the fluorometric determination of Fe(III) in spiked serum and water samples.

Graphical abstract

Schematic presentation of one-step synthesis of phosphorus and chlorine co-doped carbon dots with high photoluminescence for the detection of ferric ions.


Co-doped carbon dots Phosphorus Chlorine Fluorescent probe Quantum yield 



This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21675062), the Science and Technology Planning Project of Fujian Province, China (2017 J05024, 2018D0019), and the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in Fujian Province University (NCETFJ, B16164).

Compliance with ethical standards

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

Supplementary material

604_2018_3140_MOESM1_ESM.doc (716 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 716 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Food and Biological EngineeringJimei UniversityXiamenChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, College of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringXiamen UniversityXiamenChina
  3. 3.Xiamen Center for Disease Control and PreventionXiamenChina

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