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White carbon: Fluorescent carbon nanoparticles with tunable quantum yield in a reproducible green synthesis

: Meiling, T.T.; Cywinski, P.J.; Bald, I.

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Scientific Reports 6 (2016), Art. 28557
ISSN: 2045-2322
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IAP ()

In this study, a new reliable, economic, and environmentally-friendly one-step synthesis is established to obtain carbon nanodots (CNDs) with well-defined and reproducible photoluminescence (PL) properties via the microwave-assisted hydrothermal treatment of starch and Tris-acetate-EDTA (TAE) buffer as carbon sources. Three kinds of CNDs are prepared using different sets of above mentioned starting materials. The as-synthesized CNDs: C-CND (starch only), N-CND 1 (starch in TAE) and N-CND 2 (TAE only) exhibit highly homogenous PL and are ready to use without need for further purification. The CNDs are stable over a long period of time (>1 year) either in solution or as freeze-dried powder. Depending on starting material, CNDs with PL quantum yield (PLQY) ranging from less than 1% up to 28% are obtained.