Tuning of carbon dots emission color for sensing of Fe 3+ ion and bioimaging applications

Suresh Kumar Kailasa, Siyoung Ha, Seung Hoon Baek, Le Minh Tu Phan, Sangjun Kim, Kyungwon Kwak, Tae Jung Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Citations (Scopus)


Herein, we report a facile one-step synthetic strategy for fabrication of three (blue, green and yellow) fluorescent color carbon dots (CDs) from tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). The as-synthesized CDs showed emission peaks at 450, 520 and 560 nm for blue, green and yellow color CDs when excited at 370, 420 and 460 nm, respectively. Using tomato as a carbon source, the fabricated three fluorescent color CDs showed good water dispersity and high quantum yield. The analytical performances of three fluorescent color CDs are evaluated by detecting Fe 3+ ion in biofluids and iron tablets. Upon the addition of Fe 3+ ion under optimal conditions, the fluorescence intensity of three fluorescent color CDs was quenched linearly over the range of 0.1 to 2.0 μM. This method opens a new analytical strategy to quantify Fe 3+ ion in iron tablets and biofluids with high sensitivity. Further, the uptake of three fluorescent color CDs into HeLa cells was confirmed by confocal laser scanning microscopy. Intracellular experiments demonstrated that the three fluorescent color CDs were effectively internalized the cells and show excellent biocompatibility and low toxicity, suggesting that the CDs can be used as good candidates for biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)834-842
Number of pages9
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May


  • Cancer cells
  • Fe ion
  • Fluoresce spectroscopy and microscopy
  • Fluorescent carbon dots
  • Tomato

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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