Carbon-dot organic surface modifier analysis by solution-state NMR spectroscopy
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Carbon dots (C-dots) represent a new class of carbon-based materials that were discovered recently and have drawn the interest of the scientific community, particularly because of their attractive optical properties and their potential as fluorescent sensors. Investigation of the chemical structure of C-dots is extremely important for correlating the surface modifier composition with C-dot optical properties and allow for structure–properties fine tuning. In this article, we report the structural analysis of the surface modifiers of three different types of C-dot nanoparticles (Cwax, Cws, and Csalt) by use of 1D- and 2D-high-resolution NMR spectroscopy in solution. We unambiguously verify that the structure of the modifier chains remains chemically unchanged during the passivation procedure, and confirm the covalent attachment of the modifiers to the nanoparticle core, which contributes no signal to the solution-state NMR spectra. To our knowledge, this is the first study confirming the full structural assignment of C-dot organic surface modifiers by use of solution NMR spectroscopy.
KeywordsNMR spectroscopy Carbon dots Structure Surface modifiers
This research was supported in part by the University of Crete (Project KA-3047) and the Operational Program Research and Development for Innovations-European Regional Development Fund (project CZ.1.05/2.1.00/03.0058) and Operational Program Education for Competitiveness (CZ.1.07/2.3.00/20.0017).
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