Green Synthesis of Multicolor Emissive Nitrogen-Doped Carbon Dots for Bioimaging of Human Cancer Cells

Raji Atchudan, Prakash Gangadaran, Suguna Perumal, Thomas Nesakumar Jebakumar Immanuel Edison, Ashok K. Sundramoorthy, Ramya Lakshmi Rajendran, Byeong Cheol Ahn, Yong Rok Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In this work, banana peel (BP) was utilized as a green carbon precursor to synthesize carbon dots (CDs) through the single-step hydrothermal-carbonization method. The structural and optical properties of the resulting BP-CDs were investigated by various techniques. The transmission electron microscopy measurement of BP-CDs displayed uniform morphology with a quasi-spherical shape of 5 nm in size. The optical studies of BP-CDs revealed that BP-CDs emit excitation-dependent fluorescence emission behaviors (redshift) without any capping or passivation agent. The maximum emission was observed at an excitation wavelength of 340 nm, showing an acceptable quantum yield of 19%. The abundant functional groups such as nitrogen- (amine and amide) and oxygen-containing (carbonyl and hydroxyl) groups on the surface of the BP-CDs were confirmed from X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and Attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared studies. These functional groups in BP-CDs are responsible for the negative zeta potential. Since the BP-CDs showed excellent long-term stability (120 days) and photostability (120 min). The biocompatibility of BP-CDs was examined by cytotoxicity studies on cancer cells and utilized as a multi-colored nano-probe for imaging human cancer cells. The aforesaid properties demonstrate that the BP-CDs can be applied to imaging human cells without further modifications.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cluster Science
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Banana peel
  • Bioimaging
  • Cancer cells
  • Carbon dots
  • Fluorescent probe
  • Hydrothermal


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