Capping nanoparticles with graphene quantum dots for enhanced thermoelectric performance†
Graphene quantum dots (GQDs) are shown to serve as phase transfer agents to transfer various types of nanoparticles (NPs) from non-polar to polar solvents. Thorough characterization of the NPs proves complete native ligand exchange. Pellets of this GQD–NP composite show that the GQDs limit the crystal size during spark plasma sintering, yielding enhanced thermoelectric performance compared with NPs exchanged with inorganic ions. A photoluminescence study of the GQD–NP composite also suggests energy transfer from GQDs to NPs.