Nitrogen-Doped Graphitic Carbon Dots Embedded in Carbon Nitride Scaffolds for Water Decontamination

Toshali Bhoyar, Nishprah Saraswat, M. V. Jyothirmai, Akanksha Gupta, Sunita Kumari Malla, Jiyeon Park, Devthade Vidyasagar, Suresh S. Umare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Functionalized carbon dots (CDs) exhibit intriguing photo-exciton dynamics. CDs can donate or accept electrons depending on their functional groups and electrostatic characteristics. We exploited the electron-accepting capability of nitrogen-doped graphitic carbon dots (N-g-CDs) to improve the charge-carrier separation of the polymeric carbon nitride (PCN) photocatalyst. l-Aspartic acid pyrolyzed at 320 °C yielded ∼25 nm size N-g-CDs that were embedded with PCN. The in-plane infiltration of nanosized N-g-CDs increased the surface area of PCN from 11.5 to 104.9 m2 g-1. The N-g-CDs/PCN hybrid catalyst tested for photocatalytic chromium reduction evidenced about a 3-fold higher rate than PCN. Also, the antibiotic tetracycline and rhodamine B dye rapidly degraded with faster degradation kinetics. The carrier dynamic analysis and computational investigations suggest that the electron acceptor feature of N-g-CDs governs the effective separation of photo-excitons and the high surface area of N-g-CDs/PCN contributes to photoactivity enhancement. This study offers insights into designing high-performance metal-free photocatalysts for water treatment applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3484-3496
Number of pages13
JournalACS Applied Nano Materials
Issue number5
StatePublished - 10 Mar 2023

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  • chromium reduction
  • nitrogen-doped graphitic carbon dots
  • photooxidation
  • polymeric carbon nitride
  • tetracycline


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