Carbon dots (C-dots) have been a recent discovery in the last decade since they were discovered by electrophoresis of SWCNTs in 2004 (Lee et al., 2012). The properties it posses have made them to be studied in greater details.
They exhibit excellent fluorescent properties, water solubility, photoluminescence, high quantum yield, high photostability, excellent biocompatibility, ease of functionalization and resistance to bleaching (Castillo et al., 2012).
These excellent properties have been exploited in the best possible way to be utilized in various applications. Synthetic methods for C-dots having tunable size can be classified into two main groups: chemical and physical methods.
In chemical method there different ways to synthesize C-dots: electrochemical synthesis, combustion/thermal/hydrothermal/acidic oxidation supported synthesis, microwave/ultrasonic, solution chemistry methods, cage opening of fullerene, and so on.
In physical methods, methods such as arc discharge, laser ablation/passivation and plasma treatment are used to synthesize C-dots.
Electrochemical method of C-dots was achieved by Zhou et al when they grew multiwalled carbon nanotubes from scrolled graphene layers on carbon paper by chemical vapor deposition (Zhou et al.
, 2007). They synthesized C-dots electrochemically by oxidizing a graphitic column electrode against a saturated calomel electrode with a Pt wire counter electrode in NaH2PO4 aqueous solution (Zhang et al., 2008).
nother method of synthesizing C-dots electrochemically was achieved by Chi et al by using a graphite rod working electrode, a Pt mesh counter electrode, and an Ag/AgCl reference electrode assembly immersed in pH 7 phosphate buffer solutions (Zheng et al., 2009).
C-dots have also been generated by ionic liquid (IL)-assisted electrooxidation of graphite using the water soluble IL 1-butyl-3-methylimi-dazolium tetrafluoroborate [BF4] containing upto 90 wt% water as the electrolytes (Yang et al.
, 2009). An alkali-assisted electrochemical method for generating 1-4 nm C-dots with controlled sizes was reported by Kang et al.
It can be imagined that judicious cutting of a graphite honeycomb layer into ultrasmall particles can lead into tiny fragments of graphite, yielding C-dots which may offer a straightforward and facile strategy to prepare high quality C-dots. C-dots were synthesized by them using graphite rods as both anode and cathode, and NaOH/EtOH as electrolyte with a current intensity of 10-200 mA cm-2 (Fig 9).
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