Carbon Dots/Iron Oxide Nanoparticles with Tuneable Composition and Properties

Stachowska, Joanna, Gamza, Monika orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-3360-4006, Mellor, Claire orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7647-2085, Gibbons, Ella Nicole orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-4931-2681, Krysmann, Marta orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8036-4925, Kelarakis, Antonios orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8112-5176, Gumieniczek-Chłopek, Elżbieta, Strączek, Tomasz, Kapusta, Czesław et al (2022) Carbon Dots/Iron Oxide Nanoparticles with Tuneable Composition and Properties. Nanomaterials, 12 (4). e674.

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We present a simple strategy to generate a family of carbon dots/iron oxide nanoparticles (C/Fe-NPs) that relies on the thermal decomposition of iron (III) acetylacetonate in the presence of a highly fluorescent carbon-rich precursor (derived via thermal treatment of ethanolamine and citric acid at 180 °C), while polyethylene glycol serves as the passivation agent. By varying the molar ratio of the reactants, a series of C/Fe-NPs have been synthesized with tuneable elemental composition in terms of C, H, O, N and Fe. The quantum yield is enhanced from 6 to 9% as the carbon content increases from 27 to 36 wt%, while the room temperature saturation magnetization is improved from 4.1 to 17.7 emu/g as the iron content is enriched from 17 to 31 wt%. In addition, the C/Fe-NPs show excellent antimicrobial properties, minimal cytotoxicity and demonstrate promising bioimaging capabilities, thus showing great potential for the development of advanced diagnostic tools.

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