Development of Carbon Nanodots as Fluorescent Materials and Their Mechanistic Studies in Catalysis

Project: Research

Project Details


Carbon Nanodots (CNDs), zero-dimensional (0-D) carbon-based particles with sizes of 10 nm, became a pinnacle of carbon-based nanomaterials during the last decade. Unique physiochemical and photochemical properties are among many characteristics of CNDs, which make them a promising platform for various applications such as catalysis, energy-related and environmental applications. Extensive investigations of CNDs lead to rapid developments in their applications. Yet, detailed quantitative and structural understanding on the chemical and photo-physical properties of CNDs still remains a challenging factor in further developments because of the structural complexity of CNDs. Applications of CNDs are particularly attractive in optoelectronics, imaging, catalysis, functional materials, and oil industry. CNDs can be synthesized simply via a metal-free pyrolysis route from molecular precursors such as citric acid, sugars (glucose or fructose) and acid treatment of asphaltenes, which are cheap and widely available chemicals and materials. Oxygen-containing functional groups at the edges of polyaromatic graphitic carbon core can induce higher catalytic activity for some reactions. Series of metal-free and metal-doped CNDs with differing surface contents of oxygen-functional groups for enhanced catalytic and efficient fluorescent materials are known. In this project, CNDs with various surface functional groups will be developed and further modified with metals to enhance the catalytic and fluorescent characteristics. Performance of CNDs developed in this project will be tested in various organic reactions and will be compared with the conventional molecular catalysts. Briefly, objective of the project are sub-divided into four parts: 1) synthesis, preparation, characterization and study the formation mechanism of CNDs from direct pyrolysis of organic molecular precursors, 2) synthesis, preparation, characterization of metal-doped CNDs (M-CNDs) in the presence of transition metal salts such as Cu, Co, Fe, Mn and Ni, 3) development of catalytic systems and their kinetic analysis to test the performance of CNDs and M-CNDs, 4) design of the procedure to develop fluorescent CNDs and M-CNDs as functionalized-carbon nanomaterials with prolonged photostability.
Effective start/end date1/04/211/04/23


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