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Scientific reports

Control of Photoluminescence of Carbon Nanodots via Surface Functionalization using Para-substituted Anilines.


PMID 26218869

Abstract

Carbon nanodots (C-dots) are a kind of fluorescent carbon nanomaterials, composed of polyaromatic carbon domains surrounded by amorphous carbon frames, and have attracted a great deal of attention because of their interesting properties. There are still, however, challenges ahead such as blue-biased photoluminescence, spectral broadness, undefined energy gaps and etc. In this report, we chemically modify the surface of C-dots with a series of para-substituted anilines to control their photoluminescence. Our surface functionalization endows our C-dots with new energy levels, exhibiting long-wavelength (up to 650 nm) photoluminescence of very narrow spectral widths. The roles of para-substituted anilines and their substituents in developing such energy levels are thoroughly studied by using transient absorption spectroscopy. We finally demonstrate light-emitting devices exploiting our C-dots as a phosphor, converting UV light to a variety of colors with internal quantum yields of ca. 20%.

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