Tailoring of graphene quantum dots for toxic heavy metals detection

نویسندگانHamid Reza Ghenaatian - Mehdi Shakourian Fard - Masoud Rohani Moghadam -Ganesh Kamath-Mohsen Rahmanian
نشریهApplied Physics A
شماره سریال11
شماره مجلد125
نوع مقالهFull Paper
تاریخ انتشار2019
رتبه نشریهISI
نوع نشریهچاپی
کشور محل چاپسوئیس

چکیده مقاله

The sensitivity of graphene quantum dots towards toxic heavy metals (THMs; Cd, Hg, Pb) can be improved through doping with nitrogen at the vacant site defects. Using density functional theory, we investigate the adsorption of THMs on the graphene quantum dots (GQDs) and nitrogen-coordinated defective GQDs (GQD@1N, GQD@2N, GQD@3N and GQD@4N) surfaces. Thermochemistry calculations reveal that the adsorption of Pb atom on the surfaces is more favorable than Cd and Hg adsorption. The decoration of the vacant defects with nitrogen on the GQD surface substantially increases the charge transfer and adsorption energy values of THMs on the GQD surface (GQD@4N > GQD@3N > GQD@1N > GQD@2N > GQD). The charge transfer and adsorption energy of lead on each of these surfaces are greater than those of cadmium and mercury (Pb > Cd > Hg). Quantum theory of atoms in molecules analysis and non-covalent interaction plots further validate this result while also confirming that Pb atom has a partially covalent and electrostatic nature of interaction at the nitrogen-coordinated vacant site defects. The electron density values—a criterion of bond strength—for the THM...N interactions are greater than for the THM…C interactions, confirming the observed adsorption energy trends of the THMs on the surfaces. The lowering of the HOMO–LUMO energy gap of the surfaces follows the order Pb > Cd > Hg and also results in increased electrical conductivity, which are consistent with the calculated adsorption energy trends. Significant changes in the energy gap and electric conductivity of the surfaces upon THMs adsorption make them promising sensors for metal detection. Finally, time-dependent density functional theory c​a​l​c​u​l​a​t​