Liquid-phase laser ablation synthesis of graphene quantum dots from carbon nano-onions: Comparison with chemical oxidation

Rosemary L. Calabro, Dong Sheng Yang, Doo Young Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations

Abstract

Graphene quantum dots (GQDs) have been synthesized reproducibly by chemical oxidation (CO) of carbon nano-onions (nCNOs) and a one-step pulsed laser ablation (LA) of nCNOs in deionized water. The photoluminescence (PL) spectra show that the LA-GQDs have blue shifted emission relative to the CO-GQDs which is attributed to the effects of both particle sizes and surface functional groups. The CO-GQDs have an average diameter of 4.1(8) nm and a thickness corresponding to two or three graphene layers, while the LA-GQDs have an average diameter of 1.8(6) nm and a thickness comparable to a single layer of graphene. The CO-GQDs favor the presence of carboxylic groups and have a higher fraction of sp2 carbons, while the LA-GQDs prefer the presence of hydroxyl groups and have a higher fraction of sp3 carbons. PL lifetime data suggests that surface functional groups are the main source of radiative deactivation and the sp2 carbon domains are mainly responsible for non-radiative decay. PL lifetimes are measured to be 7.9(6) ns for the emission from the carboxylic groups and 3.18(10) ns from the hydroxyl groups. Compared to CO, liquid-phase LA is a faster and cleaner one-step method for producing GQDs with fewer starting chemicals and byproducts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-140
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Volume527
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018

Keywords

  • Graphene quantum dots
  • Laser ablations
  • Photoluminescence lifetime

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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