Sunlight-Activated Phase Transformation in Carbon Dot-Hydrogel Facilitates Water Purification and Optical Switching

Seema Singh, Raz Jelinek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

A multifunctional hydrogel comprising carbon dots (C-dots), carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), and poly-(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) has been synthesized. The microporous C-dot-CMC-PNIPAM hydrogel constitutes an effective sunlight-mediated water purification platform and an optical switch, facilitated through the hydrophilic-to-hydrophobic transformation of PNIPAM. The C-dots, in particular, play crucial roles in the system—functioning as photothermal agents for inducing the phase transition of the hydrogel, enhancing its mechanical stability, enabling water purification through effective adsorption of salts and pollutants, and furnishing the optical switching functionality through their colorimetric properties. The composite hydrogel, prepared from recyclable, green, and inexpensive reagents, may serve as a practical solar-mediated vehicle for water desalination and purification, an anticounterfeit smart ink, and an “on/off” optical switch.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2810-2818
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Polymer Materials
Volume2
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 10 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • carbon dots
  • invisible ink
  • optical switch
  • poly-(N-isopropylacrylamide)
  • thermoresponsive hydrogels
  • water purification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Organic Chemistry

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