Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Ampere 2019

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Rapid Synthesis of highly luminescent Carbon Quantum Dots using Low-Pressurized Microwave Solvothermal Heating
Kenta Hagiwara, Satoshi Horikoshi

Last modified: 11-10-2019


Since the first serendipity of carbon quantum dots (CQDs)1, it is expected to be used for imaging materials for reusable living bodies (e.g. Hela cells). However, the reported CQDs synthetic methods have yet to be at the practical levels; the quantum yields is low, and synthetic condition is over 5 hrs under more than 30 atms. In this research, we ameliorated the problems of CQDs synthesis and luminescence (quantum yields) by the novel synthesis protocol using microwave chemistry. Specifically, we synthesized high quantum yields CQDs (61%) by utilizing a microwave chemical synthesis, synthesizing at low pressure condition (lower than 5 atom) and short reaction time (3 hrs). The achievement of this high quantum yields made it clear that the contribution of polyethylene glycol (PEG) shell to CQDs is large. It was confirmed from the DLS and TEM image that the particle size of the synthesized particles was 8 to 13 nm (Fig. 1). On the other hand, the relationship between the polymerization degree of added PEG and the quantum yields to the addition amount is summarized in Table 1. The quantum yields of CQDs without addition of PEG was 16.7 %, while it was improved at 61.1 % when 0.6 g of PEG6000 (Molecular weight: 6000) was added.

We succeeded in remarkably improving the quantum yields by using PEG, which is usually used as a protective agent, as a shell. By using this method, we succeeded in improving the quantum yields of the existing report by approximately 3 times. From the surface modified structure of PEG, the mechanism of improvement of quantum yields will be considered.

[1] X. Xu et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2004, 126, 12736–12737.



Microwave Solvothermal Heating; Carbon Quantum Dots; Low-Pressirized Synthesis

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