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  1. Carbon dots (CDots) are generally defined as small-carbon nanoparticles with surface organic functionalization and their classical synthesis is literally the functionalization of preexisting carbon nanoparticles. Other than these “classically defined CDots”, however, the majority of the dot samples reported in the literature were prepared by thermal carbonization of organic precursors in mostly “one-pot” processing. In this work, thermal processing of the selected precursors intended for carbonization was performed with conditions of 200 °C for 3 h, 330 °C for 6 h, and heating by microwave irradiation, yielding samples denoted as CS200, CS330, and CSMT, respectively. These samples are structurally different from the classical CDots and should be considered as “nano-carbon/organic hybrids”. Their optical spectroscopic properties were found comparable to those of the classical CDots, but very different in the related photoinduced antibacterial activities. Mechanistic origins of the divergence were explored, with the results suggesting major factors associated with the structural and morphological characteristics of the hybrids.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  2. Carbon dots (CDots) of small carbon nanoparticles with oligomeric polyethylenimine for surface functionalization, coupled with visible light exposure, were found highly effective in the inactivation of bacterial pathogens. In this study, using a representative strain of a major foodborne pathogen – Listeria monocytogenes , as a target, the effects of the CDots treatment at sublethal concentrations on bacterial functions/behaviors related to the biofilm formation ability/potential, including cell attachment and swimming motility, were assessed. On the consequence at molecular level, the expression levels of the genes that are related to cell attachment/adhesion, motility, flagellar synthesis, quorum sensing, and environmental stress response and virulence were found all being up-regulated.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2023
  3. This study aimed to address the significant problems of bacterial biofilms found in medical fields and many industries. It explores the potential of classic photoactive carbon dots (CDots), with 2,2′-(ethylenedioxy)bis (ethylamine) (EDA) for dot surface functionalization (thus, EDA-CDots) for their inhibitory effect on B. subtilis biofilm formation and the inactivation of B. subtilis cells within established biofilm. The EDA-CDots were synthesized by chemical functionalization of selected small carbon nanoparticles with EDA molecules in amidation reactions. The inhibitory efficacy of CDots with visible light against biofilm formation was dependent significantly on the time point when CDots were added; the earlier the CDots were added, the better the inhibitory effect on the biofilm formation. The evaluation of antibacterial action of light-activated EDA-CDots against planktonic B. subtilis cells versus the cells in biofilm indicate that CDots are highly effective for inactivating planktonic cells but barely inactivate cells in established biofilms. However, when coupling with chelating agents (e.g., EDTA) to target the biofilm architecture by breaking or weakening the EPS protection, much enhanced photoinactivation of biofilm-associated cells by CDots was achieved. The study demonstrates the potential of CDots to prevent the initiation of biofilm formation and to inhibit biofilm growth at an early stage.more »Strategic combination treatment could enhance the effectiveness of photoinactivation by CDots to biofilm-associated cells.« less
  4. Two-dimensional (2D) molybdenum ditelluride (MoTe 2 ) is an interesting material for fundamental study and applications, due to its ability to exist in different polymorphs of 2H, 1T, and 1T′, their phase change behavior, and unique electronic properties. Although much progress has been made in the growth of high-quality flakes and films of 2H and 1T′-MoTe 2 phases, phase-selective growth of all three phases remains a huge challenge, due to the lack of enough information on their growth mechanism. Herein, we present a novel approach to growing films and geometrical-shaped few-layer flakes of 2D 2H-, 1T-, and 1T′-MoTe 2 by atmospheric-pressure chemical vapor deposition (APCVD) and present a thorough understanding of the phase-selective growth mechanism by employing the concept of thermodynamics and chemical kinetics involved in the growth processes. Our approach involves optimization of growth parameters and understanding using thermodynamical software, HSC Chemistry. A lattice strain-mediated mechanism has been proposed to explain the phase selective growth of 2D MoTe 2 , and different chemical kinetics-guided strategies have been developed to grow MoTe 2 flakes and films.
  5. Björkroth, Johanna (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Foodborne pathogens have long been recognized as major challenges for the food industry and repeatedly implicated in food product recalls and outbreaks of foodborne diseases. This study demonstrated the application of a recently discovered class of visible-light-activated carbon-based nanoparticles, namely, carbon dots (CDots), for photodynamic inactivation of foodborne pathogens. The results demonstrated that CDots were highly effective in the photoinactivation of Listeria monocytogenes in suspensions and on stainless steel surfaces. However, it was much less effective for Salmonella cells, but treatments with higher CDot concentrations and longer times were still able to inactivate Salmonella cells. The mechanistic implications of the observed different antibacterial effects on the two types of cells were assessed, and the associated generation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), the resulting lipid peroxidation, and the leakage of nucleic acid and proteins from the treated cells were analyzed, with the results collectively suggesting CDots as a class of promising photodynamic inactivation agents for foodborne pathogens. IMPORTANCE Foodborne infectious diseases have long been recognized as major challenges in public health. Contaminations of food processing facilities and equipment with foodborne pathogens occur often. There is a critical need for new tools/approaches to control the pathogens and prevent such contaminationsmore »in food processing facilities and other settings. This study reports a newly established antimicrobial nanomaterials platform, CDots coupled with visible/natural light, for effective and efficient inactivation of representative foodborne bacterial pathogens. The study will contribute to promoting the practical application of CDots as a new class of promising nanomaterial-based photodynamic inactivation agents for foodborne pathogens.« less
  6. null (Ed.)
    The antiviral function of carbon dots (CDots) with visible light exposure was evaluated, for which the model bacteriophages MS2 as a surrogate of small RNA viruses were used. The results show clearly that the visible light-activated CDots are highly effective in diminishing the infectivity of MS2 in both low and high titer samples to the host E. coli cells, and the antiviral effects are dot concentration- and treatment time-dependent. The action of CDots apparently causes no significant damage to the structural integrity and morphology of the MS2 phage or the breakdown of the capsid proteins, but does result in the protein carbonylation (a commonly used indicator for protein oxidation) and the degradation of viral genomic RNA. Mechanistically the results may be understood in the framework of photodynamic effects that are associated with the unique excited state properties and processes of CDots. Opportunities for potentially broad applications of CDots coupled with visible/natural light in the prevention and control of viral transmission and spread are highlighted and discussed.
  7. Silver dendritic nanostructures (AgD) is investigated for surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) with simulation and experiments, the simulations showed that there is a significant absorbance over a broad spectrum from the AgD, this indicated that AgD is a good candidate for SERS. The simulations helped to study the parameters of the AgD that affects the SERS and we applied these simulation results for experimental designs, in which our experimental results of synthesis and characterization results of Raman spectrum showed consistence with the simulation results. These simulation results are very helpful in deciding the experimental parameters for efficient and effective synthesizing and reproduction of hierarchical silver dendritic nanostructure. The AgD were produced using displacement redox reaction between AgNO 3 solution and Copper foil. We found that the concentration of AgNO 3 played major role on the rate of reaction, and the rapid growth of the silver nanostructures was observed as the reaction time increases. The structural and morphological evolution of silver dendrites was examined with Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). The Raman enhancement of AgDs was evaluated using Elman's reagent (DTNB) and Rhodamine 6G (R6G). The silver dendrites have great potential for diverse sensing applications ranging from food safety control, environmental monitoring andmore »assessment, forensic investigation, and to medical diagnosis.« less