Review of Developments in Iron (III) Ion Sensing by Carbon Nanodots Probes

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Carbon Dots (CDs) are emerging in the nanotechnology field as the newest class of fluorescent probes, owing to their high water-solubility, good chemical and photo-stability, and tunable photoluminescence. This work focused on sensing of iron (III) ion due to its importance in environmental and biological systems and the side effects caused either to their existence or lack. The detection of iron in water can be done by using Atomic Absorption Spectrometry, Ion Coupled Plasma, Colorimetric methods, or a Visible-Spectrophotometer The general methods have many issues, such as the use of sophisticated and expensive instrumentations as well as complicated sample preparation techniques, thus limiting the applications for the routine Fe3+ analysis in aqueous samples. CDs can be used as sensing probes for Fe3+, The most important sensing parameters are the sensing range (linear range), sensitivity, and limit of detection (LOD). We reported 118 natural resources to extract CDs for different applications. 21 resources of them are for Fe3+ detection. The fluorescence-based approach of CDs has its unique advantages such as easy manipulating instruments, low cost, and simple sample preparation techniques. The sensing parameters of the CDs probe toward Fe3+ are affected by different factors such as surface passivation, pH, doping elements, raw materials, temperature, and reaction time. The sensitivity and linear range of the probe have been tuned by modulating the surface functionalization of the nanoparticles. The selectivity toward Fe3+ has been improved by growing around the dots a porous microsphere of ion imprinted polymer. In this work, we demonstrate that the carbon dots sensing properties can be modulated, allowing the design of tailored probes for a wide range of application.