A novel mechanochemical method was firstly developed to synthesize carbon nanodots (CNDs) or carbon nano-onions (CNOs) through high-pressure homogenization of cellulose powders as naturally abundant resource depending on the treatment times. While CNDs (less than 5 nm in size) showed spherical and amorphous morphology, CNOs (10-50 nm in size) presented polyhedral shape, and onion-like outer lattice structure, graphene-like interlattice spacing of 0.36 nm. CNOs showed blue emissions, moderate dispersibility in aqueous media, and high cell viability, which enables efficient fluorescence imaging of cellular media.
- carbon dots
- carbon nano-onions