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ACS Nano 2015, 9(3), 2548-2555

Synthesis of Strongly Fluorescent Graphene Quantum Dots by Cage-Opening Buckminsterfullerene

Graphene quantum dots is a class of graphene nanomaterials with exceptional luminescence properties. Precise dimension control of graphene quantum dots produced by chemical synthesis methods is currently difficult to achieve and usually provides a range of sizes from 3 to 25 nm. In this work, fullerene-C-60 is used as starting Material, due to its well-defined dimension, to produce very small graphene quantum dots (similar to 2-3 nm). Treatment of fullerene C-60 with a mixture of strong,acid-and chemical oxidant induced the oxidation, cage-opening, and fragmentation processes of fullerene C-60. The synthesized quantum dots were characterized and supported by LDI-TOP MS, TEM, XRD, XPS, AFM, STM, FTIR, DLS, Raman spectroscopy, and luminescence analyses. The quantum dots remained fully dispersed in aqueous suspension and exhibited Strong luminescence properties, with the highest intensity at 460 nm under a 340 nm excitation wavelength. Further chemical treatments With hydrazine hydrate and hydroxylamine resulted in red- and blue-shift of the luminescence, respectively.

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