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Photoinduced Electron Transfer from Various Aniline Derivatives to Graphene Quantum Dots

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journal contribution
posted on 10.12.2015, 00:00 by Tufan Ghosh, Swarupa Chatterjee, Edamana Prasad
The present study utilizes the luminescence nature of the graphene quantum dots (GQDs) to analyze the mechanistic aspects of the photoinduced electron transfer (PET) processes between GQDs and aniline derivatives. A systematic investigation of PET from various aniline derivatives to GQDs has been presented. Solution-processable GQDs have been synthesized from graphene oxide (GO) at 200 °C. The as-synthesized GQDs exhibit a strong green luminescence at 510 nm, upon photoexcitation at 440 nm. Various aniline derivatives (aniline, N-methylaniline, N,N′-dimethylaniline, N-ethylaniline, N,N′-diethylaniline, and N,N′-diphenylaniline) have been utilized as electron donors to probe the PET process. Results from UV–visible absorption and steady-state and time-resolve luminescence spectroscopy suggest that the GQDs interact with the aniline derivatives in the excited state, which results in a significant luminescence quenching of the GQDs. The bimolecular rate constants of the dynamic quenching have been deduced for various donor–acceptor systems, and the values are in the range of (1.06–2.68) × 109 M–1 s–1. The negative values of the free energy change of the electron transfer process suggest that PET from aniline derivatives to GQDs is feasible and could be responsible for the luminescence quenching. The PET has been confirmed by detecting radical cations for certain aniline derivatives, using a nanosecond laser flash photolysis setup. The present study shows that among the various types of graphene systems, GQDs are better candidates for understanding the mechanism of PET in graphene-based donor–acceptor systems.