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Cucurbit[6]uril-based carbon dots for recognizing l-tryptophan and capecitabine

Liu, Ming; Cen, Ran; Lu, Ji Hong; Meng, Tie Hong; Li, Chun Rong; Redshaw, Carl; Prior, Timothy J.; Tao, Zhu; Xiao, Xin


Ming Liu

Ran Cen

Ji Hong Lu

Tie Hong Meng

Chun Rong Li

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Professor Carl Redshaw
Professor of Inorganic Materials Chemistry and REF Lead for Chemistry

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Dr Tim Prior
Senior Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry

Zhu Tao

Xin Xiao


Fluorescent nitrogen and fluorine doped carbon dots (CDs) were prepared by a hydrothermal method using levofloxacin (LVFX) and cucurbit[6]uril (Q[6]) as the nitrogen and carbon sources, respectively. Decomposition of LVFX occurred at elevated temperature affording N,N′-desethylene levofloxacin hydrochloride (N,N′-DLH). The crystal structure of the resulting inclusion complex N,N′-DLH@Q[6]·[CdCl4]2(H3O)·9H2O was determined, where N,N′-DLH is protonated on each of the terminal nitrogens and the quinone functionality is a quinol which forms an intramolecular hydrogen bond to the carboxylic acid. The synthesized N,N′-DLH containing Q[6]-CDs emitted intense blue fluorescence with high photostability and exhibited stability at high ionic strength. In particular, the original rigid macrocyclic skeletons of these hosts were retained during the fabrication process, which helps in uniquely distinguishing them from other reported CDs. Meanwhile, the performance of the Q[6]-CDs was characterized using fluorescence and NMR spectroscopies. Subsequently, using the obtained Q[6]-CDs, an efficient sensing method for l-tryptophan (l-Trp) and capecitabine (CAP) has been developed based on macrocyclic host-guest chemistry. Under applicable conditions, the detection limits for l-Trp and CAP were calculated to be 5.13 × 10−8 M and 1.48 × 10−8 M, respectively.


Liu, M., Cen, R., Lu, J. H., Meng, T. H., Li, C. R., Redshaw, C., …Xiao, X. (in press). Cucurbit[6]uril-based carbon dots for recognizing l-tryptophan and capecitabine. Materials Chemistry Frontiers,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 17, 2022
Online Publication Date Sep 18, 2022
Deposit Date Sep 6, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 19, 2023
Journal Materials Chemistry Frontiers
Print ISSN 2052-1537
Electronic ISSN 2052-1537
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Materials Chemistry; General Materials Science
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