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Research Article

A novel method for the synthesis of carbon dots assisted by free radicals

Xinyue Zhou1Kebing Yi1Yeling Yang1Guohua Xie2( )Xinghu Ji1( )Zhike He1( )
College of Chemistry and Molecular Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
Sauvage Center for Molecular Sciences, Hubei Key Lab on Organic and Polymeric Optoelectronic Materials, Department of Chemistry, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
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Graphical Abstract

Free radicals assisted synthesis of carbon dots for white electroluminescence (white carbon dots (WCD)) and cell staining (red CDs (RCD2)).


Carbon dots (CDs) have gradually become a widely favored type of fluorescent nanomaterials with unlimited and promising applications. This work reports a means of breaking the shackle of method to develop new red and white CDs by introducing free radicals. The resulting white emissive CDs in this strategy are employed to demonstrate electroluminescent white-light-emitting diodes (WLEDs) and achieve a record-high external quantum efficiency (0.95%) of one-step-produced white CDs (WCD)-LEDs, which dramatically simplifies the whole fabrication processes of WLEDs. With additional passivation treatment, the red CDs (RCD2) with excellent properties such as N and S co-doping, bright (quantum yield = 49%) and stable photoluminescence (PL), large positive zeta potential (+20.5 mV), and two-photon fluorescence are obtained. Such RCD2 are used for rapid staining (5 min) of yeast cells. The two CDs synthesized via this method have outstanding performance in different aspects, which provides new promise of CDs for further functionalization and applications.

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Nano Research
Pages 9470-9478
Cite this article:
Zhou X, Yi K, Yang Y, et al. A novel method for the synthesis of carbon dots assisted by free radicals. Nano Research, 2022, 15(10): 9470-9478.






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Received: 05 April 2022
Revised: 12 May 2022
Accepted: 21 May 2022
Published: 28 June 2022
© Tsinghua University Press 2022