“Great Things from Small Things” ~ Genesis Nanotechnology, Inc.
The prospect of turning coal into fluorescent particles may sound too good to be true, but the possibility exists, thanks to scientists at Rice University.
The Rice lab of chemist James Tour found simple methods to reduce three kinds of coal into graphene quantum dots (GQDs), microscopic discs of atom-thick graphene oxide that could be used in medical imaging as well as sensing, electronic and photovoltaic applications.
Coal yields production of graphene quantum dots
Band gaps determine how a semiconducting material carries an electric current. In quantum dots, band gaps are responsible for their fluorescence and can be tuned by changing the dots’ size. The process by Tour and company allows a measure of control over their size, generally from 2 to 20 nanometers, depending on the source of the coal.
An illustration shows the nanostructure of bituminous coal before separation into graphene quantum dots. Courtesy of the Tour…
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