Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2018, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (11): 1250-1263.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201804041

Special Issue: Special Issue in Honor of Professor Yongfang Li's 70th Birthday

• REVIEW • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Growing Carbon Quantum Dots for Optoelectronic Devices

Ping HE1,Fanglong YUAN1,Zifei WANG1,Zhanao TAN2,*(),Louzhen FAN1,*()   

  1. 1 College of Chemistry, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, P. R. China
    2 Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Soft Matter Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, P. R. China
  • Received:2018-03-07 Published:2018-04-17
  • Contact: Zhanao TAN,Louzhen FAN;
  • Supported by:
    the National Natural Science Foundation of China(21233003);the National Natural Science Foundation of China(21573019);the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China


As new types of carbon nanomaterials, carbon quantum dots (CQDs) have received widespread attention for their potential applications in optoelectronic device owing to their unique properties such as long hot-electron lifetime, high electron mobility, tunable bandgap, strong stable florescence, solution-processability, stability, non-toxicity, and low cost. Correspondingly, there has been several interesting developments in researches focusing on CQDs. In this review, we will present an update the on the latest research on the synthesis, morphology, structural characteristics, and optoelectronic properties of CQDs. The latter are determined by quantum confinement effect and surface defects. Using bottom-up synthesis methods, CQDs with higher crystallinity and less surface defects could be obtained by accurately designing the precursors and reaction conditions. The structures could be characterized by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. Secondly, the latest progress on photoelectric devices, including light-emitting diodes (LEDs), solar cells (SCs), and photodetectors (PDs), are summarized in detail. CQDs-based LEDs are divided into photoluminescence (PL) and electroluminescence (EL) LEDs owing to their different excitation modes. Recently, PL LEDs leveled with developed QDs-based LEDs in both luminous efficiency and color rendering index (CRI). With the discovery of their bandgap emission, CQDs overcame carrier injection, which is determined by surface defects and molecule states, and presented excellent potential in EL applications. Moreover, their broad absorption in the ultraviolet-to-visible light range and high electron mobility make CQDs preferable for improving energy conversion efficiency of SCs and responsivity of PDs. Finally, we delineate current challenges on studying CQDs. Its indefinite fluorescence mechanism and structural characterizations limit the development of CQDs. Furthermore, large-scale synthesis methods for CQDs with high quantum yields and crystallinity are not yet established, which hinders their utility in optoelectronic devices. Moreover, CQDs with narrow emission bandwidth (full width at half maximum, FWHM ≤ 35 nm) still do not exist, which restrains their applications in display and laser. Hence, researches on CQDs-based optoelectronic applications are still in the first stages of development. We hope that this review will indicate future directions and encourage critical thinking to elicit new discoveries on CQDs from both fundamental and applied researches. Consequently, the potential of environment-friendly CQDs can be realized in optoelectronics and more areas.

Key words: Carbon quantum dot, Synthesis, Optoelectronic property, Light emitting diode, Solar cells, Photodetector


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