Researchers from Assam have made use of the commonly found invasive plant water hyacinth to produce carbon nanoparticles for detecting a commonly used herbicide Pretilachlor

Working of the carbon dots:

  • It is based on the mechanism of Fluorescence enhancement:Electron transfer happens between the dot and the herbicide which enables fluorescence enhancement.
  • Carbon dots were able to give a green fluorescence under UV light due to the presence of extremely small oxygen functional groups on the surface of the dots.
  • It was found to be selective and extremely sensitive for detection of the herbicide Pretilachlor seen from the increment in the intensity of fluorescence.

Why was water hyacinth chosen?

  • Common water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)is an aquatic plant native to the Amazon basin and is often a highly aggressive invasive species outside its native range. 
  • Due to its ready availability, every water body in Assam is infested with water hyacinth and hence was a cheap option to explore.


About Pretilachlor

It is a Synthetic selective herbicide and is used to control annual grasses, broad-leaved weeds and sedges in rice and works by inhibiting cell division.

Carbon Dots

  • Nanoparticles of less than 10 nanometer is called dots or nano-dots. 
  • They are able to give green fluorescence under UV light.