An insight into the molecular and surface state photoluminescence of carbon dots revealed through solvent-induced modulations in their excitation wavelength dependent emission properties
This study explores the intriguing modulations in the excitation wavelength dependence of carbon dot photoluminescence (PL), induced by the solvent medium. Our results indicate that different emissive states of carbon dots are stabilized to different extents by the surrounding solvent environment. Consequently, in some solvents, such as ethyl acetate and acetonitrile, the PL of the carbon dots is strongly dependent on the excitation wavelength, while in other solvents, like water, the PL of the same carbon dot becomes independent of the excitation wavelength. These observations contribute to the enhancement of our understanding of the photophysics and PL mechanisms of this important class of luminescent materials, especially to discriminate between the PL arising from the “molecular state” and the “surface state”.