Microwave assisted synthesis of boron and nitrogen rich graphitic quantum dots to enhance fluorescence of photosynthetic pigments

Budak E., Aykut S., Paşaoğlu M. E. , Ünlü C.

MATERIALS TODAY COMMUNICATIONS, cilt.24, 2020 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier


Energy transfer between quantum dots and biomolecules is of interest due to high absorption capacity and high quantum efficiency of quantum dots. Amongst all types of quantum dots, graphene and graphitic quantum dots have great potential for energy transfer studies due to their high biocompatibility and low toxicity. In this study, a simple route to synthesize boron and nitrogen rich graphitic quantum dots (C-BN) and boron carbon nitride (BCN) quantum dots is demonstrated. Quantum dots were synthesized in a domestic microwave oven. Composition of quantum dots was controlled by tuning initial mole ratio of boron and nitrogen precursors. As molar ratio of boron precursor was increased, formation of C-BN quantum dots was favoured. C-BN quantum dots were mainly composed of boron and nitrogen (with around 10 % carbon) in their main composition, and sized around 2 nm with bright photoluminescence. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study which proposes a bottom-up synthesis method to synthesize C-BN quantum dots based on domestic microwaves. Also, treating photosynthetic pigments with quantum dots resulted in 20 % enhancement of fluorescence of photosynthetic pigments at 670 nm, which demonstrates that C-BN and BCN quantum dots can be important constituents of artificial antenna systems for photosynthetic organisms.