Nitric Oxide Sensing through Azo-Dye Formation on Carbon Dots Academic Article uri icon


  • Carbon dots (C-dots) prepared through heating of aminoguanidine and citric acid enable bimodal (colorimetric and fluorescence) detection of nitric oxide (NO) in aqueous solutions. The C-dots’ retained the functional units of aminoguanidine, which upon reaction with NO produced surface residues responsible for the color and fluorescence transformations. Notably, the aminoguanidine/citric acid C-dots were non-cytotoxic, making possible real-time and high sensitivity detection of NO in cellular environments. Using multi-prong spectroscopic and chromatography analyses we deciphered the molecular mechanism accounting for the NO-induced structural and photophysical transformations of the C-dots, demonstrating for the first time N2 release and azo dye formation upon the C-dots’ surface.

publication date

  • January 1, 2017