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      Dual-Colored Carbon Dot Ratiometric Fluorescent Test Paper Based on a Specific Spectral Energy Transfer for Semiquantitative Assay of Copper Ions.

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          Classical pH test papers are widely used to measure the acid-base degree of media in a qualitative or semiquantitative manner. However, the extension of portable and inexpensive methods to a wide range of analytes so as to eliminate the tediousness of instrumental assays remains unsuccessful. Here, we report a novel kind of dual-colored carbon dot (CD) ratiometric fluorescent test paper for the semiquantitative assay of copper ions (Cu(2+)) by a dose-sensitive color evolution. The preparation of the test paper is based on the following two interesting findings: on the one hand, residual p-phenylenediamine at the surface of as-synthesized red CDs (r-CDs) efficiently binds Cu(2+) ions to produce a strong visible absorption that overlaps the emission of blue CDs (b-CDs); on the other hand, the Cu(2+) ions render the adsorption of small b-CDs onto the surface of larger r-CDs through their dual-coordinating interactions with the surface ligands of both r-CDs and b-CDs. These two mechanisms lead to a specific spectral energy transfer to quench the fluorescence of b-CDs with a sensitive detection limit of 8.82 nM Cu(2+), whereas the red fluorescence of r-CDs is unaffected as a stable internal standard. Ratiometric fluorescent test papers have been prepared using a mixture of r-CDs and b-CDs (1:7) as ink by jetprinting on a piece of paper. With the addition of Cu(2+) ions, the blue test paper produces a consecutive wide-colored evolution from blue to orange-red, with a dose-discerning ability as low as 25 nM.

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          Author and article information

          ACS Appl Mater Interfaces
          ACS applied materials & interfaces
          American Chemical Society (ACS)
          May 26 2017
          [1 ] Institute of Intelligent Machines, Chinese Academy of Sciences , Hefei, Anhui 230031, China.
          [2 ] Department of Chemistry, University of Science and Technology of China , Hefei, Anhui 230026, China.
          [3 ] School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Anhui University , Hefei, Anhui 230601, China.

          carbon dots,copper ions,energy transfer,ratiometric fluorescence,test paper


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