Facile approach to synthesize highly fluorescent multicolor emissive carbon dots via surface functionalization for cellular imaging

Aniruddha Kundu, Jungpyo Lee, Byeongho Park, Chaiti Ray, K. Vijaya Sankar, Wook Sung Kim, Soo Hyun Lee, Il Joo Cho, Seong Chan Jun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Luminescent nanomaterials are encouraging scaffolds for diverse applications such as chemical sensors and biosensors, imaging, drug delivery, diagnostics, catalysis, energy, photonics, medicine, and so on. Carbon dots (CDs) are a new class of luminescent carbonaceous nanomaterial that have appeared recently and reaped tremendous scientific interest. Herein, we have exploited a simple approach to prepare tuneable and highly fluorescent CDs via surface functionalization. The successful synthesis of CDs is manifested from several investigations like high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The CDs exhibit excellent water solubility and with increasing nitrogen content fluorescence quantum yield increases whereas cell toxicity decreases. The CD synthesized at high temperature (180 °C) shows very high quantum yield (more than 56%). The tuneable optical properties of CDs are systematically studied using UV-vis and fluorescence spectroscopy. The cell viability evaluation and in vitro imaging study reveals that the synthesized CDs can be employed as a potential fluorescent probe for bio-imaging without further modification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-514
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was partially supported by the Priority Research Centers Program ( 2009-0093823 ), and the Korean Government (MSIP) (No. 2015R1A5A1037668 ), Brain Korea 21 plus (BK21) project grant funded by Korea government, Korea Ministry of Environment as “Global Top Project” ( 2016002130005 ), and Development of diagnostic system for mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease ( 2015-11-1684 ), Nano·Material Technology Development Program ( NRF-2017M3A7B4041987 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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