Nitrogen-induced shift of photoluminescence from green to blue emission for xylose-derived carbon dots

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3 Scopus citations


The discovery of carbon dots opens a new avenue to the applications of nanomaterials in biosensing and bioimaging. In this work, we develop simple methods to prepare carbon nanoparticles from xylose and to tune the photoluminescence (PL) characteristics of the xylose-derived carbon nanoparticles via the combination of three different processes: hydrothermal carbonization (HTC), annealing at 850 °C and laser ablation (LA) in a NH4OH solution. The HTC-synthesized carbon dots (CDs) exhibit green emission under the 365 nm UV excitation, the annealing of the HTC-synthesized CDs leads to complete loss of the PL characteristics, and the LA processing of the annealed carbon nanoparticles recovers the PL characteristics with blue shift in comparison to the HTC-synthesized CDs under the same UV excitation. the PL characteristics of the HTC-CDs and the LA-CDs are dependent on the π-π∗ transition of C-containing surface-functional groups and π-π∗ and n-π∗ transitions of N-containing surface-functional groups, respectively, which are responsible for the difference in the PL characteristics between the HTC-synthesized CDs and the LA-processed CDs. The approaches demonstrated in this work provide a viable method to introduce and tune surface-functional groups on the surface of carbon nanoparticles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number020018
JournalNano Express
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by the NSF through the grant CMMI-1634540 and CMMI-1854554 (FQY) monitored by Dr Khershed Cooper and Dr Thomas F Kuech and the grant CHE-1800316 (DSY) of the Division of Chemistry.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd


  • Carbon nanoparticles
  • Laser ablation
  • Photoluminescence
  • Xylose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)


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