Costs one-twentieth of imported carbon quantum dots (CQDs).
Scientists from Assam has developed a chemical process that turns ‘dirty’ coal into a biomedical ‘dot. Which helps to detect cancer cells.
The team has applied for a patent for their chemical method of producing carbon quantum dots (CQDs) from cheap, abundant, low-quality and high-sulfur coals.
CQDs are carbon-based nanomaterials whose size is less than 10 nm, or nanometre.
“Carbon-based nanomaterials are used as diagnostic tools for bio-imaging, especially in detecting cancer cells, for chemical sensing and in optoelectronics. A few chemical companies in the U.S. and Japan have been manufacturing CQDs. The scientist mentioned that “fluorescent carbon nanomaterials at one-twentieth the cost of imported CQDs,”
The CQDs that the CSIR-NEIST team developed emit a bluish color with “high-stability, good-conductivity, low-toxicity, environmental friendliness, and good optical properties”.
“Our source material is abundant, low-quality Indian coal not directly suitable for thermal electricity production. Even if the selling price is twice our cost of production of ₹50 per ml, it will be much cheaper than the imported CQDs with market price of up to ₹2,000 per ml”.
Scientists said CQDs are futuristic materials whose demand in India has been increasing leading to a considerable volume of import. The CSIR-NEIST technology can produce approximately 1 liter of CQDs per day at a low cost to become an import substitute.
Other advantages of the process are the use of environment-friendly reagents and less water than methods elsewhere. The process can also be recycled with a manageable supply chain.
Source: The Hindu