Controlling the emissive pathways of carbon nanoparticles by selective surface functionalization

Basim Al Farsi, R. G. Sumesh Sofin*, El Said I. El-Shafey, Abey Issac, Faisal Al Marzouqi, Said Al Mashaikhi, M. T. Zar Myint, Osama K. Abou-Zied

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Environmental friendly and biocompatible fluorescent carbon nanoparticles (CNPs) show great potential for various applications. The functional groups on the surface of the NPs dramatically influence the absorption and emission characteristics of the particles. However, a conclusive emission mechanism of CNPs and the exact role of functional groups are still lacking. Herein, a systematic investigation has been carried out by quantifying the oxygen-based function groups (–OH, –CHO, –COOH, –CO, –COO) present on the surface of activated carbon (AC) nanoparticles to identify their role in the emission characteristics. AC samples, prepared by the activation process of green waste of mandarin peels, were subjected to further treatments to achieve different levels of surface functionality with oxygen containing functional groups such as carbonyl, carboxyl, phenol and lactone. Various characterization techniques were employed to identify and quantify the functional groups. A detailed emission study revealed the role of specific functional groups in the emission process. Our results suggests that various emissive pathways in CNPs can be controlled by selective surface functionalization. This study shows significant results, which could shed more light on the emission mechanism of CNPs and the pivotal role of surface functional groups.

Original languageEnglish
Article number150618
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - Nov 15 2021


  • Activated carbon
  • Deconvoluted PL spectrum
  • Fluorescent carbon nanoparticles
  • Oxidized activated carbon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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