Soybean-derived blue photoluminescent carbon dots

  1. Shanshan Wang,
  2. Wei Sun,
  3. Dong-sheng YangORCID Logo and
  4. Fuqian YangORCID Logo

Submitting author affiliation: University of Kentucky, Lexington, United States

Beilstein Arch. 2019, 2019139. doi:10.3762/bxiv.2019.139.v1

Published 05 Nov 2019

  • Preprint


Biomass-derived carbon dots (CDs) are biocompatible and have the potential in a variety of applications, including bio-imaging and bio-sensing. In this work, we use ground soybean residuals to synthesize carbon nanoparticles by hydrothermal carbonization (HTC), annealing at high temperatures, and laser ablation (LA) in a NH4OH solution. The carbon nanoparticles synthesized with the HTC process (HTC-CDs) exhibit photoluminescent characteristics with strong blue emission. The annealing of the HTC-CDs at temperatures in a range of 250 to 850 ⁰C causes the loss of the photoluminescent characteristics without any significant changes in the microstructures (amorphous structure) of carbon particles. The LA processing of the annealed HTC-CDs introduces nitrogen-contained surface-functional groups and leads to the recovery of the photoluminescent features that are different from those of the HTC-CDs and dependent on the fraction of nitrogen in the surface-functional groups. The photoluminescence of both the HTC-CDs and LA-CDs is largely due to the presence of N-contained surface-functional groups. The quantum yield of the LA-CDs is more stable than that of the HTC-CDs under continuous UV excitation and does not exhibit significant reduction over 150 min excitation. The methods used in this work provide a simple and green strategy to introduce surface-functional groups to carbon nanoparticles from biomass and biowaste and to produce stable photoluminescent CDs with excellent water-wettability.

Keywords: biomass; carbon dots; hydrothermal process; laser ablation; photoluminescence.

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Wang, S.; Sun, W.; Yang, D.-s.; Yang, F. Beilstein Arch. 2019, 2019139. doi:10.3762/bxiv.2019.139.v1

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