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Precursor-dependent Structural Diversity In Luminescent Carbonized Polymer Dots (CPDs): The Nomenclature

Qingsen Zeng, Tanglue Feng, Songyuan Tao, Shoujun Zhu, Bai Yang

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AbstractCarbon dots (CDs) have received immense attention in the last decade because they are easy-to-prepare, nontoxic, and tailorable carbon-based fluorescent nanomaterials. CDs can be categorized into three subgroups based on their morphology and chemical structure: graphene quantum dots (GQDs), carbon quantum dots (CQDs), and carbonized polymer dots (CPDs). The detailed structures of the materials can vary significantly, even within the same category. This property is particularly predominant in chemically synthesized CPDs, as their formation proceeds via the polymerization–carbonization of molecules or polymer precursors. Abundant precursors endow CPDs with versatile structures and properties. A wide variety of carbon nanomaterials can be grouped under the category of CPDs because of their observed diversity. It is important to understand the precursor-dependent structural diversity observed in CPDs. Appropriate nomenclature for all classes and types of CPDs is proposed for the better utilization of these emerging materials.