One-Pot Solvothermal Synthesis of Graphene Oxide Quantum Dots

Schematic representation of the solvothermal reaction route, TEM images, Schematic illusion of the working principle of Eu3+ detection using GOQDs as sensitizers in aqueous solution. More information see Communication here.

The production of graphene oxide (GO) and graphene oxide quantum dots (GOQDs) generally involves tedious synthesis and long reaction times; therefore, the production of these materials requires a strategy to overcome these issues.

GO and GOQDs are extremely relevant to research owing to their excellent chemical and physical properties, which includes tailorable functionalities, great electron transport capabilities and thermal conductivities, and high mechanical strength. These properties are important for the use of these materials in many areas, including in catalysis, LED lighting, bioimaging, nanomedicine, and drug delivery.

Cost is another limitation in the synthesis of GO and GOQDs, such as expensive precursors, complex instrumentation and a list of other limitations that are usually present in the synthesis of these materials. Therefore, methods that overcome these limitations are needed.

Recently, Ling Huang, Wei Huang, and co-workers, reported a facile one-pot solvothermal method that allows for the selective synthesis of pure GO and pure GOQDs. The final product size can be easily controlled with gram scale quantities being feasible. These GOQDs exhibit excellent luminescence emission and the ability to coordination functional groups on the surface, giving these materials scope for applications in bioimaging and ion detection.

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