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Issue 8, 2020
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Optical and electrochemical tuning of hydrothermally synthesized nitrogen-doped carbon dots

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Abstract

Carbon dots (CDs) are a rapidly progressing class of nanomaterial which show promise towards applications in solar energy conversion due to their low toxicity, favorable electrochemical properties, and tunability. In recent years there have been a number of reported CD syntheses, both top-down and bottom-up methods, producing a diverse range of CDs with intrinsic properties dependent on the starting materials and utilized dopants. This work presents a citrate buffer-facilitated synthesis of nitrogen-doped carbon dots (NCD) and explores the impact of urea concentration on observed electrochemical and optical properties. Optical absorbance and quantum yield of NCDs were found to increase with the dopant concentrations present in the hydrothermal reaction mixture. Electrochemical analysis demonstrates that increased nitrogen content results in the shifting of carbon dot oxidation potentials without the need of post-synthesis surface modifications. Over the range of molar ratios of dopant-to-citrate tested, the oxidation potentials of NCDs shifted up to 150 mV towards more negative potentials. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirms the addition of pyrrolic and pyridinic nitrogen at different levels in different batches of NCDs, which are likely the source of the observed changes.

Graphical abstract: Optical and electrochemical tuning of hydrothermally synthesized nitrogen-doped carbon dots

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
03 Apr 2020
Accepted
11 Jun 2020
First published
29 Jun 2020

This article is Open Access

Nanoscale Adv., 2020,2, 3375-3383
Article type
Paper

Optical and electrochemical tuning of hydrothermally synthesized nitrogen-doped carbon dots

C. D. Stachurski, S. M. Click, K. D. Wolfe, D. Dervishogullari, S. J. Rosenthal, G. K. Jennings and D. E. Cliffel, Nanoscale Adv., 2020, 2, 3375 DOI: 10.1039/D0NA00264J

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