Carbon dots (C-dots) are emerging as new emitting nanomaterials for optoelectronics, bioimaging, and biosensing thanks to their high quantum yield (QY), biocompatibility, low toxicity, and cost-effective sources. Although the origin of their photoluminescence (PL) mechanism (i.e., their strong blue-green emission and excitation dependent fluorescence) is still controversial, it has been demonstrated to depend on the synthetic protocols and experimental conditions, able to modify the surface properties. Here oil-dispersible C-dots, synthesized by carbonization of citric acid in the presence of hexadecylamine in high boiling organic solvent, are thoroughly investigated by systematically controlling the synthetic reaction parameters. Similarly to what was found for water-soluble C-dots, citric acid in the presence of amine-containing passivating agents improves the PL emission of C-dots via the formation of molecular fluorescent derivatives alongside the carbonization process. We demonstrate that at growth temperature of 200 °C such C-dots exhibit an interesting and intense white emission, when excited in the blue region, thus resulting in a biocompatible colloidal white emitting single nano-objects. The incorporation of the nanoparticles in a poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) host matrix, to obtain free-standing nanocomposite films, is demonstrated not to affect the color point, which still falls in the white color region of the 1931 CIE diagram. Remarkably, the emission properties are retained even after several months of films exposure to air and sunlight, thus confirming the color stability of the nanoparticles against aging.

Luminescent Oil-Soluble Carbon Dots toward White Light Emission: A Spectroscopic Study

Fanizza, Elisabetta;Agostiano, Angela;CURRI, MARIA LUCIA
2018

Abstract

Carbon dots (C-dots) are emerging as new emitting nanomaterials for optoelectronics, bioimaging, and biosensing thanks to their high quantum yield (QY), biocompatibility, low toxicity, and cost-effective sources. Although the origin of their photoluminescence (PL) mechanism (i.e., their strong blue-green emission and excitation dependent fluorescence) is still controversial, it has been demonstrated to depend on the synthetic protocols and experimental conditions, able to modify the surface properties. Here oil-dispersible C-dots, synthesized by carbonization of citric acid in the presence of hexadecylamine in high boiling organic solvent, are thoroughly investigated by systematically controlling the synthetic reaction parameters. Similarly to what was found for water-soluble C-dots, citric acid in the presence of amine-containing passivating agents improves the PL emission of C-dots via the formation of molecular fluorescent derivatives alongside the carbonization process. We demonstrate that at growth temperature of 200 °C such C-dots exhibit an interesting and intense white emission, when excited in the blue region, thus resulting in a biocompatible colloidal white emitting single nano-objects. The incorporation of the nanoparticles in a poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) host matrix, to obtain free-standing nanocomposite films, is demonstrated not to affect the color point, which still falls in the white color region of the 1931 CIE diagram. Remarkably, the emission properties are retained even after several months of films exposure to air and sunlight, thus confirming the color stability of the nanoparticles against aging.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/210209
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