Metal nanoclusters, with dimensions between atomic and nanoparticles, have attracted a great deal of attention due to their significantly unusual properties. Water-soluble palladium nanoclusters (Pd NCs) with blue-green fluorescence were synthesized by a water bath heating method, with methionine as a stabilizer and ascorbic acid as a reducing agent. We investigated the optimal synthesis conditions, stability, and pH response of the obtained products in detail. The synthesized materials were characterized by ultraviolet-absorption spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy. These experimental results showed that the Pd NCs had a small size of ~1.91 nm, with a uniform size distribution. Additionally, the Pd NCs emitted blue-green fluorescence under ultraviolet light with a quantum yield of 5.47%. Notably, both stabilizers and reducing agents used in this synthesis method are nutrients for humans, non-toxic, and harmless. This method could be viewed as a biologically friendly and green way of preparing fluorescent metal nanoclusters. The as-prepared fluorescent Pd NCs also possessed excellent fluorescence detection ability and were very sensitive to low concentrations of hemoglobin, with a linear response in the range of 0.25–3.5 μM and a detection limit of 50 nM.
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