Aflatoxin B1 Acts as an Effective Energy Donor to Enhance Fluorescence of Yellow Emissive Carbon Dots

Erguder O., Keskin S. S., Nar I., Trabzon L., Ünlü C.

ACS OMEGA, vol.7, no.33, pp.29297-29305, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7 Issue: 33
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1021/acsomega.2c03498
  • Journal Name: ACS OMEGA
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.29297-29305
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Carbon dots (CDs) are versatile fluorescent nanocrystals with unique optical and structural properties and are commonly used in biosensing, bioimaging, and biomolecule tagging studies. However, fluorescence of CDs is brightest in the wavelength range of 430-530 nm, which overlaps with the autofluorescence range of many eukaryotic cells and makes CDs impractical for in vivo and in vitro imaging studies. Thus, the design of yellow-red emissive CDs with high quantum yield is of importance. In this study, the quantum yield of traditional yellow emissive CDs was enhanced by two different methods: (1) the surface of traditional yellow emissive CDs passivated with a biomolecule, urea, through easy, rapid, inexpensive microwave assisted synthesis methods and (2) a fluorescent biomolecule, aflatoxin B1, used as an energy donor for yellow emissive CDs. In the first method, the quantum yield of the CDs was enhanced to 51%. In the second method, an efficient energy transfer (above 40%) from aflatoxin B1 to the CDs was observed. Our study showed that highly luminescent yellow emissive CDs can be synthesized by simple, rapid microwave assisted synthesis methods, and these CDs are potential candidates to sense aflatoxin B1. Furthermore, our results indicated that Aflatoxin B1 can be considered as an emission booster for CDs.