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Surface Functionalized Carbogenic Quantum Dots.

A. Bourlinos, A. Stassinopoulos, D. Anglos, R. Zbořil, M. Karakassides, E. Giannelis
Published 2008 · Materials Science, Medicine

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Quantum dots are semiconductor nanocrystals that inherently fluoresce at specific wavelengths in the visible, enabling a number of potential applications to be realized. However, conventional quantum dots are based on metallic elements, which has raised concerns over toxicity, stability and high cost. As a result, the search for more benign substitutes is a worthwhile yet challenging undertaking. Recently a new type of visible emitters has been reported exclusively based on functionalized carbon nanoparticles. The carbon dots were 5 nm in diameter and were produced via laser ablation of graphite. Surface oxidation with nitric acid and subsequent covalent grafting of organic moieties afforded light-emitting derivatives. Notably, the light emitted by these dots depends on the wavelength of light used for excitation. It was suggested that the tethered modifier stabilizes the surface of the carbon nanoparticles helping to generate energy traps that emit light when stimulated, an effect described as emission from passivated surfaces. Because of its origin the emission is size-dependent, i.e., the smaller the size of the dots the better their photoluminescence efficiency. In another intriguing approach, photoluminescent carbon dots 3 nm in size were directly fabricated by electrochemical shocking of multi-wall carbon nanotubes. The demonstrated photoluminescence adds another dimension to the versatility of carbon-based
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