Close-Packed Langmuir Monolayers of Saccharide-Based Carbon Dots at the Air-Subphase Interface

Elif S. Seven, Shiv K. Sharma, DIhya Meziane, Yiqun Zhou, Keenan J. Mintz, Raja R. Pandey, Charles C. Chusuei, Roger M. Leblanc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Carbon dots (CDs) are zero-dimensional carbon-based spherical nanoparticles with diameters less than 10 nm. Here, we report for the first time CDs forming stable Langmuir monolayers at the air-subphase interface. Langmuir monolayers are of great interest both fundamentally to study the interactions at the interfaces and for many applications such as the development of sensors. However, CDs usually do not form Langmuir monolayers because of their highly hydrophilic nature. In this study, amphiphilic CDs were prepared through hydrothermal carbonization using saccharides as the precursors. The surface chemistry behavior and optical properties of CDs at the air-subphase interface were studied. CDs derived from saccharides consistently formed stable Langmuir monolayers which show all essential phases, namely, gas, liquid-expanded, liquid-condensed, and solid phases. The compression-decompression cycle method showed minimum hysteresis (4.3%), confirming the retaining capacity of the CDs as a monolayer. Limiting CD areas from surface pressure-area isotherm at the air-subphase interface were used to calculate the average diameter of the CDs at the air-subphase interface. UV/vis absorption spectra of CDs dispersed in water and in Langmuir monolayers had the same bands in the UV region. The intensity of the UV/vis absorption increases with increasing surface pressure at the air-subphase interface. Interestingly, photoluminescence (PL) of the Langmuir monolayer of CDs was excitation-independent, whereas the same CDs had excitation-dependent PL when dispersed in water.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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