Fluorescent Self-Healing Carbon Dot/Polymer Gels

Sagarika Bhattacharya, Ravindra Suresh Phatake, Shiran Nabha Barnea, Nicholas Zerby, Jun Jie Zhu, Rafi Shikler, Norberto Gabriel Lemcoff, Raz Jelinek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


Multicolor, fluorescent self-healing gels were constructed through reacting carbon dots produced from different aldehyde precursors with branched polyethylenimine. The self-healing gels were formed through Schiff base reaction between the aldehyde units displayed upon the carbon dots' surface and primary amine residues within the polyethylenimine network, generating imine bonds. The dynamic covalent imine bonds between the carbon dots and polymeric matrix endowed the gels with both excellent self-healing properties as well as high mechanical strength. Moreover, the viscoelastic properties of the gels could be intimately modulated by controlling the ratio between the carbon dots and polymer. The distinct fluorescence emissions of the gels, originating from the specific carbon dot constituents, were employed for fabrication of light emitters at different colors, particularly generating white light.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1433-1442
Number of pages10
JournalACS Nano
Issue number2
StatePublished - 26 Feb 2019


  • Aldehydes
  • Carbon dots
  • Dynamic covalent bonds
  • Fluorescent gels
  • Imines
  • Self-healing gels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (all)
  • Engineering (all)
  • Physics and Astronomy (all)


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