Carbon-Dots-Initiated Photopolymerization: An in Situ Synthetic Approach for MXene/Poly(norepinephrine)/Copper Hybrid and its Application for Mitigating Water Pollution

Poushali Das, Sayan Ganguly, Arka Saha, Malachi Noked, Shlomo Margel, Aharon Gedanken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


The current work presents a facile and green synthesis of carbon quantum dots (C-dots), which could serve as initiators for polymerization. Herein, C-dots have been synthesized from an easily available green herb, dill leaves, by a single-step hydrothermal method. These C-dots were efficiently utilized as initiators for the photopolymerization of the polymer poly(norepinephrine) (PNE) for the first time. The photopolymerization is discussed by a factorial design, and the optimized synthesis conditions were evaluated by a third-order regression model of three reaction parameters: monomer concentration, C-dots concentration, and UV exposure time. The sign convention of the factorial design mode indicated that monomer concentration and time of exposure are the most important factors for polymerization. The photopolymerized poly(norepinephrine) was extensively studied using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), mass spectra, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), contact angle measurement, and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). UV-assisted deposition of PNE on six different types of substrates was performed, and their water contact angle and surface morphology were studied to evaluate the coating. This UV-triggered polymerization technique was further applied to fabricate sandwich-like composite catalyst MXene/poly(norepinephrine)/copper nanoparticles. This catalyst displayed good performance in the reduction of 4-NP (4-nitrophenol) at ambient temperature, and the first-order rate constant of the catalysis was 9.39 × 10-3 s-1. The reusability of the catalyst was evaluated in terms of the conversion factor. After 10 catalytic cycles, the conversion to catalyze 4-NP was still greater than 91%. The catalytic performance was also evaluated in the continuous flow condition through a membrane, fabricated from a cellulose filter paper coated with MXene/poly(norepinephrine)/copper nanoparticles. This composite catalyst not only offers a practical mode for the catalytic reaction of MXene-based materials but also lays down the foundation for the development of new catalysts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31038-31050
Number of pages13
JournalACS applied materials & interfaces
Issue number26
StatePublished - 7 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:


  • MXene
  • carbon dots
  • catalyst
  • photopolymerization
  • poly(norepinephrine)


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