Synthesis of luminescent carbon quantum dots by microplasma process

Xintong Ma, Sirui Li (Corresponding author), Volker Hessel, Liangliang Lin, Stefan Meskers, Fausto Gallucci

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Carbon dots have recently emerged and gained much interest as a new class of carbon nanomaterials especially suited for biological applications owing to their characteristic advantages such as non-toxicity, bio-compatibility, and element abundance. In this study, a fast and effective method was developed for the synthesis of fluorescent carbon dots by microplasma technology, at atmospheric pressure, using isopropanol as the only reactant. Characterizations of the synthesized carbon dots including the investigation of their structure, morphology and optical properties were performed. The results show that the carbon dots produced have a narrow size distribution (average diameter of 1.78 nm) and are amorphous and graphitic in nature. The photoluminescent study indicates that the carbon dots present an excitation-dependent emission property with the excitation wavelengths in a range of 310-410 nm. The high density electrons produced by microplasma induce the chemical reactions and accelerate the formation process of functional groups doped carbon dots.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-35
Number of pages7
JournalChemical Engineering and Processing : Process Intensification
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • Carbon quantum dots
  • Microplasma
  • Nanoparticle
  • Photoluminescence


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