Structure-controllable growth of nitrogenated graphene quantum dots via solvent catalysis for selective C-N bond activation
Byung Joon Moon, Sang Jin Kim, Aram Lee, Yelin Oh, Seoung-Ki Lee, Sang Hyun Lee, Tae-Wook Kim, Byung Hee Hong, Sukang Bae
Photophysical and photochemical properties of graphene quantum dots (GQDs) strongly depend on their morphological and chemical features. However, systematic and uniform manipulation of the chemical structures of GQDs remains challenging due to the difficulty in simultaneous control of competitive reactions, i.e., growth and doping, and the complicated post-purification processes. Here, we report an efficient and scalable production of chemically tailored N-doped GQDs (NGs) with high uniformity and crystallinity via a simple one-step solvent catalytic reaction for the thermolytic self-assembly of molecular precursors. We find that the graphitization of N-containing precursors during the formation of NGs can be modulated by intermolecular interaction with solvent molecules, the mechanism of wh ich is evidenced by theoretical calculations and various spectroscopic analyses. Given with the excellent visible-light photoresponse and photocatalytic activity of NGs, it is expected that the proposed approach will promote the practical utilization of GQDs for various applications in the near future.
graphene, quantum, dots, GQDs, NGs, N-doped, photoresponse, photocatalytic,