Fluorescence turn-off sensing of TNT by polyethylenimine capped carbon quantum dots
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In recent years, the determination of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) explosive residues in various matrices has attracted great interest from the perspective of national security and public health. Here, a fluorescent polyethylenimine capped carbon quantum dots (PEI-C-dots) probe was synthesized by a microwave-assisted technique using polyethylenimine and citric acid precursors and used to detect TNT. The sensing mechanism of TNT is based on fluorescence quenching as a result of the donor–acceptor interaction between Meisenheimer anion form of TNT and PEI on the PEI-C-dots surface. The fluorescence quantum yield of the synthesized PEI-C-dots was 54% and the detection limit for TNT was 93 μg/L. It was observed that neither the nitramine group (HMX and RDX) explosives with similar structures nor common soil ions and camouflage agents interfered with the determination of TNT. The interference effect of picric acid was eliminated by removing it with a basic anion exchanger before the determination. This nanosensor allows rapid, simple, selective, and sensitive determination of TNT residues in complex matrices and has the potential to be converted into a kit format.
SourceSpectrochimica Acta - Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy
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