Preparation of N-doped carbon quantum dots and their applications in the selective sensing of Mercury (II)

Yan, Xiangyu (2021) Preparation of N-doped carbon quantum dots and their applications in the selective sensing of Mercury (II). Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This master’s thesis presents a comprehensive study on the optimal design and synthesis of nitrogen-doped carbon quantum dots (N-CQDs) from small molecule carbon and nitrogen precursors and their application as fluorescence sensor for the detection of heavy metal ions. By employing the Box-Behnken design (BBD), the optimal synthetic condition for hydrothermal method was obtained, which led to the achievement of the high quantum yield of 51.7% for N-CQDs. The as-prepared N-CQDs are with brownish-yellow color and showed a bright blue light irradiation. To stabilize the N-CQDs, immobilization of N-CQDs onto a glutaraldehyde cross-linked chitosan was then performed to prepare the N-CQDs@GACTS hydrogel film for the selective sensing of Hg2+ ion. FTIR and XPS analyses revealed that N-CQDs were embedded into the GACTS matrix mainly through weak hydrogen bond or electrostatic attraction. Among the three tested heavy metal ions (Cd²⁺, Hg²⁺ and Pb²⁺), the N-CQDs@GACTS hydrogel film exhibited remarkable sensing sensitivity and selectivity of Hg²⁺. The excellent selectivity could be attributed to a stronger interaction between the hydrogel film and Hg²⁺ ion. Due to the strong oxidizing ability and chelating power, Hg²⁺ can be more readily combined with polar groups on the surface of N-CQDs@GACTS hydrogel to form new complexes by either chelation or electrostatic attraction, which provokes an effective electron transfer for the fluorescence quenching of the N-CQDs@GACTS hydrogel. The prepared N-CQDs@GACTS hydrogel demonstrates enhanced practicality in terms of fast response, sensitivity, selectivity, and economical pricing. It has great potential for practical applications in selectively detecting Hg²⁺ from either drinking water or wastewater.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 15066
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 72-91).
Keywords: Carbon quantum dots, Nitrogen doped, Design of experiment, Heavy metal sensing
Department(s): Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of
Date: February 2021
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Quantum dots--Design; Quantum dots--Synthesis; Nitrogen; Mercury.

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