Quantum dots photocatalyse organic reactions with near-infrared light

05-Mar-2013 - Taiwan

The photocatalysis of alcohols to aldehydes and carboxylic acids usually involves UV or visible light, but a group of scientists from China has discovered that carbon quantum dots can catalyse such reactions using near-infrared wavelengths.

Conventional UV/visible-light approaches involve expensive, toxic heavy metals, whereas the carbon quantum dots are more environmentally friendly and stable under the near-infrared operating conditions. The researchers report the transformation of benzyl alcohol to benzaldehyde with 100% selectivity and 92% conversion, and identify OH radicals as the main active oxygen species.

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