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Oxygen accelerated scalable synthesis of highly fluorescent sulfur quantum dots

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Abstract

Here, we report a facile and efficient approach for the large-scale synthesis of highly fluorescent sulfur quantum dots (SQDs) from inexpensive elemental sulfur under a pure oxygen (O2) atmosphere. The important finding of this work is that the polysulfide (Sx2−) ions could be oxidized to zero-valent sulfur (S[0]) by O2, which is the accelerator of the reaction. The SQDs prepared by this method possess nearly monodisperse size (1.5–4 nm), high fluorescence quantum yield (21.5%), tunable emission, and stable fluorescence against pH change, ionic strength variation and long-term storage. Moreover, the reaction yield of SQDs reached as high as 5.08% based on the content of S element in SQDs, which is much higher than other reported approaches (generally <1%). The prepared SQDs could be easily processed for widespread applications thanks to their low toxicity and superior dispersibility both in water and common organic solvents. These high-quality SQDs may find applications similar to or beyond those of carbon QDs and silicon QDs.

Graphical abstract: Oxygen accelerated scalable synthesis of highly fluorescent sulfur quantum dots

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Oct 2019, accepted on 26 Nov 2019 and first published on 27 Nov 2019


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C9SC05019A
Chem. Sci., 2020, Advance Article
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
    All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

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    Oxygen accelerated scalable synthesis of highly fluorescent sulfur quantum dots

    Y. Song, J. Tan, G. Wang, P. Gao, J. Lei and L. Zhou, Chem. Sci., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9SC05019A

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