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Carbon Nanodots

Photon correlation spectroscopy measures the effective radius of aggregating sugar clusters.  These sugar clusters serve as the precursor for the production of larger-than-normal carbon "dots" with unique photoluminescence properties.


Our PCS studies of simple sugars (glucose, sucrose and trehalose) in water show a remarkable propensity for the formation of sugar clusters with the onset of a gel phase at weight percents in excess of 85% sugar.  Moreover, when overheated these solutions assume a brown tint due to the formation of carbon particles that appear to be some 2 orders of magnitude larger than the sugar clusters they are formed from.  This conversion to carbon is accompanied by an intense fluorescence commonly found in much smaller (nanometer-sized) carbon "dots".  Current efforts are directed at understanding how these larger particles manage to share properties similar to their smaller-sized cousins.

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