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Large-Scale and Controllable Synthesis of Graphene Quantum Dots from Rice Husk Biomass: A Comprehensive Utilization Strategy

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journal contribution
posted on 20.01.2016, 00:00 by Zhaofeng Wang, Jingfang Yu, Xin Zhang, Na Li, Bin Liu, Yanyan Li, Yuhua Wang, Weixing Wang, Yezhou Li, Lichun Zhang, Shanka Dissanayake, Steven L. Suib, Luyi Sun
In this work, rice husk biomass was utilized as an abundant source to controllably prepare high-quality graphene quantum dots (GQDs) with a yield of ca. 15 wt %. The size, morphology, and structure of the rice-husk-derived GQDs were determined by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and Raman spectroscopy. The as-fabricated GQDs can be stably dispersed in water, exhibiting bright and tunable photoluminescence. A cell viability test further confirmed that the GQDs possess excellent biocompatibility, and they can be easily adopted for cell imaging via a facile translocation into the cytoplasm. It is worth noting that mesoporous silica nanoparticles were also synthesized as a byproduct during the fabrication of GQDs. As such, our strategy achieves a comprehensive utilization of rice husks, exhibiting tremendous benefits on both the economy and environment.