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Issue 5, 2011
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Toward quantitatively fluorescent carbon-based “quantum” dots

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Carbon-based “quantum” dots (or “carbon dots”) are generally defined as surface-passivated small carbon nanoparticles that are brightly fluorescent. Apparently, the carbon particle surface passivation in carbon dots is critical to their fluorescence performance. An effective way to improve the surface passivation is to dope the surface of the precursor carbon nanoparticles with an inorganic salt, followed by the typical functionalization with organic molecules. In this work we passivated small carbon nanoparticles by a combination of the surface-doping with nanoscale semiconductors and the organic functionalization, coupled with gel column fractionation to harvest the most fluorescent carbon dots, which exhibited fluorescence emission quantum yields of up to 78%. Experimental and mechanistic issues relevant to potentially further improve the performance of carbon dots toward their being quantitatively fluorescent are discussed.

Graphical abstract: Toward quantitatively fluorescent carbon-based “quantum” dots

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 Dec 2010, accepted on 25 Jan 2011 and first published on 24 Feb 2011

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0NR00962H
Citation: Nanoscale, 2011,3, 2023-2027
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    Toward quantitatively fluorescent carbon-based “quantum” dots

    P. Anilkumar, X. Wang, L. Cao, S. Sahu, J. Liu, P. Wang, K. Korch, K. N. Tackett II, A. Parenzan and Y. Sun, Nanoscale, 2011, 3, 2023
    DOI: 10.1039/C0NR00962H

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