Modulating the electronic structure of a semiconductor to optimize its electrochemiluminescence performance

Using carbon dots as a model system, we reported the electrochemiluminescence of carbon dots with different nitrogen doping concentrations obtained via a hydrothermal method

Xiaohong Wang; Miao Zhang; Xiaolei Huo; Wei Zhao; Bing Kang; Jing-Juan Xu; Hongyuan Chen


Scholarcy highlights

  • Electrochemiluminescence is a light emission process triggered by the energy relaxation of excited chemical states. Its versatility, simpli ed optical setup, low background signals, high sensitivity and fast sample analysis abilities endow ECL with many advantages from an analytical perspective. For semiconducting materials, ECL emission is caused by electron– hole recombination
  • The ECL performance highly depends on the electronic band structure and the relaxation dynamics of charge carriers in excited states
  • To profoundly understand how the band gap and excited state lifetimes related to the ECL behavior, we considered these processes from the viewpoint of fundamental transition dynamics
  • Using carbon dots as a model system, we demonstrated the modulation of ECL behavior through tuning the electronic structure of an electrode material
  • The nitrogen doping into the CDs changed their electronic structure, leading to a broadened band gap and slower decay dynamics
  • A theoretical model based on the energy gap law and relaxation dynamics was proposed to explain the abovementioned process
  • The concept of modulating ECL behavior via the electronic structure of a material proposed here may provide pro table insights into understanding the mechanism of the ECL process, as well as into the design of high performance ECL systems

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