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Carbon quantum dots derived by direct carbonization of carbonaceous microcrystals in mesophase pitch

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Abstract

Aggregation of the central aromatic ring system of asphaltene molecules due to π–π interaction can lead to the formation of carbon quantum dots (CQDs). However, to date, such a roadmap has not been demonstrated. Here, we present a simple approach to the synthesis of CQDs by direct carbonization of dispersed carbonaceous microcrystals in mesophase pitch. The size of the as-prepared CQDs is modulated by adjusting the nucleation temperature for mesophase formation. Due to the oxygen-free character, the CQDs exhibit excitation-independent fluorescent behavior with a quantum yield up to 87%. The CQDs were successfully applied to fluorescent detection of Fe3+ ions with good specificity and sensitivity. Our results not only provide a scalable production of CQDs at low cost, but also give valuable clues to understand the solidification of asphaltene at nanoscale.

Graphical abstract: Carbon quantum dots derived by direct carbonization of carbonaceous microcrystals in mesophase pitch

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Publication details

The article was received on 11 Sep 2018, accepted on 05 Nov 2018 and first published on 06 Nov 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8NR07385F
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018, Advance Article
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    Carbon quantum dots derived by direct carbonization of carbonaceous microcrystals in mesophase pitch

    H. Wang, G. Ning, X. He, X. Ma, F. Yang, Z. Xu, S. Zhao, C. Xu and Y. Li, Nanoscale, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8NR07385F

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