Switch Solvent, Change Color

Researchers in South Korea have developed a carbon nanostructure capable of changing shape and color depending on the solvents used.

AsianScientist (Jun. 20, 2017) – In a study published in Advanced Materials, researchers in South Korea have developed a carbon nanomaterial that can change shape and color depending on the type of solvent used. These findings open up new possibilities of tailoring the photophysical properties of carbon nanomaterials.

The joint research team, led by Professor Kim Byung Soo and Professor Kwon Oh-Hoon from the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, first synthesized hybrid carbon nanosheets. In the presence of graphene oxide nanosheets, the small molecular precursors formed clusters of carbon nanorings on the surface of the graphene oxide nanosheets.

When excited with UV and visible light, the hybrid carbon nanosheets emitted colors ranging from blue to orange and even white depending on the polarity of the solvents used.

According to the research team, this interesting spectroscopic behavior originates from hydrogen-bonding interactions between the carbon nanosheets and the solvents, which change the shape of the carbon nanosheets from 2D sheets to 3D crumpled forms.

“The clusters of carbon nanorings on the surface of graphene oxide nanosheets have different chemical reactions depending on the properties of solvents,” said study first author, PhD student Ms Choi Yuri.

“This is one of the first studies to show clearly that the shape of the carbon nanosheet varies depending on the solvents,” said Kim. “Through this research, we hope to improve the physical characteristics of hybrid materials and expand its application fields.”



The article can be found at: Choi et al. (2017) Morphology Tunable Hybrid Carbon Nanosheets with Solvatochromism.

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Source: Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology.
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