Green emission carbon dots (CDs) electrochemically prepared from 2,6-pyridinedicarboxylic acid and o-phenylenediamine were applied separately for the quantitation of hypochlorite and carbendazim. The characteristic and optical properties of the CDs were studied through fluorescence, UV–vis absorption, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. The synthesized CDs were mainly 0.8–2.2 nm in size, with an average size of 1.5 nm. The CDs exhibited green luminescence centered at 520 nm when excited by 420 nm light. The green emission of the CDs is quenched after the addition of hypochlorite, mainly through the redox reaction between hypochlorite and hydroxyl groups on the CDs surface. Furthermore, the hypochlorite-induced fluorescence quenched can be prevented in the presence of carbendazim. The sensing approaches exhibit good linear ranges of 1–50 μM and 0.05-5 μM for hypochlorite and carbendazim, respectively, with low detection limits of 0.096 and 0.005 μM, respectively. Practicalities of the luminescent probes were separately validated by the quantitation of the two analytes in real sample matrix with recoveries ranging from 96.3 to 108.9% and the relative standard deviation values below 5.51%. Our results show the potential of the sensitive, selective, and simple CD probe for water and food quality control.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.