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One-Step Synthesis Of Diamine-Functionalized Graphene Quantum Dots From Graphene Oxide And Their Chelating And Antioxidant Activities

Rabeb El-Hnayn, Laetitia Canabady-Rochelle, Christophe Desmarets, Lavinia Balan, Hervé Rinnert, Olivier Joubert, Ghouti Medjahdi, Hafedh Ben Ouada, Raphaël Schneider

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2,2’-(Ethylenedioxy)bis(ethylamine)-functionalized graphene quantum dots (GQDs) were prepared under mild conditions from graphene oxide (GO) via oxidative fragmentation. The as-prepared GQDs have an average diameter of ca. 4 nm, possess good colloidal stability, and emit strong green-yellow light with a photoluminescence (PL) quantum yield of 22% upon excitation at 375 nm. We also demonstrated that the GQDs exhibit high photostability and the PL intensity is poorly affected while tuning the pH from 1 to 8. Finally, GQDs can be used to chelate Fe(II) and Cu(II) cations, scavenge radicals, and reduce Fe(III) into Fe(II). These chelating and reducing properties that associate to the low cytotoxicity of GQDs show that these nanoparticles are of high interest as antioxidants for health applications.