Journal of Fluorescence

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 523–531 | Cite as

Fluorescent Carbon Dots as Cost-Effective and Facile Probes for Caffeic Acid Sensing via a Fluorescence Quenching Process

  • Qianqian Sun
  • Yuwei Long
  • Hongxi Li
  • Shuang Pan
  • Jidong Yang
  • Shaopu Liu
  • Xiaoli HuEmail author


Caffeic acid (CA), a familiar color stabilizing reagent, has aroused general concern due to its uncontrolled addition, and thus the detection of CA is increasingly important. In our report, the bright carbon dots (CDs) were prepared via hydrothermal treatment with urea and citric acid act as raw material and their characteristics were discussed through X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and so on. Impressively, the strong emission of the as-prepared CDs (Quantum Yield: 24.3%) decreased sharply upon a full reaction with the added CA. Hence, we first present an improved strategy for determining CA based upon the quenching of the strong emission of CDs. In this strategy, 0.79–100.0 µmol L− 1 caffeic acid could be simply detected, and a detection limit of 0.24 µmol L− 1 was allowed. Additionally, CA in red wine samples can be successfully detected by this method and the exploration of the quenching mechanism of the CA-CDs system was done.


Caffeic acid Carbon dots Fluorescence quenching Red wine 



The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support for this study by grants of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant no. 21705132; Grant no.21475014), the Special Fund of Chongqing Key Laboratory (CSTC) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (XDJK 2013A022).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qianqian Sun
    • 1
  • Yuwei Long
    • 1
  • Hongxi Li
    • 1
  • Shuang Pan
    • 1
  • Jidong Yang
    • 2
  • Shaopu Liu
    • 1
  • Xiaoli Hu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Luminescent and Real-Time analytical Chemistry (Southwest University), Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringSouthwest UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.College of Chemical and Environmental EngineeringChongqing Three Gorges UniversityChongqingChina

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