Carbon black (CB) nanoparticles modified with fluorescein, a highly fluorescent molecule, were prepared using a facile and efficient methodology. Simply stirring CB in aqueous solution containing fluorescein resulted in the strong physisorption of fluorescein onto the CB surface. The resulting Fluorescein/CB was then characterised by means of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), cyclic voltammetry (CV), fluorescence microscopy and fluorescence spectroscopy. The optimum experimental conditions for fluorescence of Fluorescein/CB viz. fluorescence excitation and emission wavelengths, O(2) removal and the amount of Fluorescein/CB used, were investigated. The Fluorescein/CB was used as a fluorescent probe for the sensitive detection of Pd(II) in water, based on fluorescence quenching. The results demonstrated that the fluorescence intensity of Fluorescein/CB decreased with increasing Pd(II) concentration, and the fluorescence quenching process could be described by the Stern-Volmer equation. The limit of detection (LOD) for the fluorescence quenching of Fluorescein/CB by Pd(II) in aqueous solution was found to be 1.07 μM (based on 3σ). Last, approaches were studied for the removal of Fe(III) which interferes with the fluorescence quenching of Fluorescein/CB. Complexation of Fe(III) with salicylic acid was used to enhance and control the selectivity of Fluorescein/CB sensor towards Pd(II) in the presence of Fe(III).