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Issue 2, 2013
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The visible photoluminescence mechanism of oxidized multi-walled carbon nanotubes: an experimental and theoretical investigation

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Abstract

Dominant components of oxidized products of multi-walled carbon nanotubes were separated by column chromatography, the origin of highly visible fluorescence from carbon quantum dots was revealed, and the nature of weak near-UV-Vis fluorescence of oxidized carbon nanotubes from isolated sp2 carbon clusters was supported among the four proposed explanations through experimental and theoretical approaches. It was found that three dominant components including carbon quantum dots, short and long oxidized carbon nanotubes were produced during the oxidation of carbon nanotubes. The highly visible fluorescence was mainly originated from carbon quantum dots, while short and long oxidized carbon nanotubes only exhibited weak near-UV-Vis fluorescence. For the nature of fluorescence of oxidized carbon nanotubes, two proposed explanations including defects mechanism and an isolated carbon cluster mechanism were compared and discussed through theoretical analysis of corresponding model compounds. It was supported that the fluorescence is dominantly originated from sp2 carbon clusters isolated by sp3 carbons due to oxidation depending on the comparison between experimental data and calculated values. The results also indicated that carbon nanotubes can be transformed to large graphene oxide during oxidation. This work not only clearly demonstrated the origin of highly visible fluorescence in an oxidized carbon nanotube mixture and a reasonable explanation for fluorescence of oxidized carbon nanotubes, but also provided an example to understand visible fluorescent graphene oxide and carbon quantum dots.

Graphical abstract: The visible photoluminescence mechanism of oxidized multi-walled carbon nanotubes: an experimental and theoretical investigation

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Publication details

The article was received on 24 Aug 2012, accepted on 24 Sep 2012 and first published on 25 Sep 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2TC00043A
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. C, 2013,1, 307-314

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    The visible photoluminescence mechanism of oxidized multi-walled carbon nanotubes: an experimental and theoretical investigation

    Z. Qian, J. Zhou, J. Ma, X. Shan, C. Chen, J. Chen and H. Feng, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2013, 1, 307
    DOI: 10.1039/C2TC00043A

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