Sensors (Basel). 2023 Jan 10;23(2):787. doi: 10.3390/s23020787.
Chebulic Myrobalan is the main ingredient in the Ayurvedic formulation Triphala, which is used for kidney and liver dysfunctions. Herein, natural nitrogen-doped carbon dots (NN-CDs) were prepared from the hydrothermal carbonization of Chebulic Myrobalan and were demonstrated to sense heavy metal ions in an aqueous medium. Briefly, the NN-CDs were developed from Chebulic Myrobalan by a single-step hydrothermal carbonization approach under a mild temperature (200 °C) without any capping and passivation agents. They were then thoroughly characterized to confirm their structural and optical properties. The resulting NN-CDs had small particles (average diameter: 2.5 ± 0.5 nm) with a narrow size distribution (1-4 nm) and a relatable degree of graphitization. They possessed bright and durable fluorescence with excitation-dependent emission behaviors. Further, the as-synthesized NN-CDs were a good fluorometric sensor for the detection of heavy metal ions in an aqueous medium. The NN-CDs showed sensitive and selective sensing platforms for Fe3+ ions; the detection limit was calculated to be 0.86 μM in the dynamic range of 5-25 μM of the ferric (Fe3+) ion concentration. Moreover, these NN-CDs could expand their application as a potential candidate for biomedical applications and offer a new method of hydrothermally carbonizing waste biomass.