Tuning the emission energy of graphene quantum dots (GQDs) and understanding the reason of tunability is essential for the GOD function in optoelectronic devices. Besides material-based challenges, the way to realize chemical doping and band gap tuning also pose a serious challenge. In this study, we tuned the emission energy of GQDs by substitutional doping using chlorine, nitrogen, boron, sodium, and potassium dopants in solution form. Photoluminescence data obtained from (Cl- and N-doped) GQDs and (B-, Na-, and K-doped) GQDs, respectively exhibited red- and blue-shift with respect to the photoluminescence of the undoped GQDs. X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS) revealed that oxygen functional groups were attached to GQDs. We qualitatively correlate red-shift of the photoluminescence with the oxygen functional groups using literature references which demonstrates that more oxygen containing groups leads to the formation of more defect states and is the reason of observed red-shift of luminescence in GQDs. Further on, time resolved photoluminescence measurements of Cl- and N-GQDs demonstrated that Cl substitution in GQDs has effective role in radiative transition whereas in N-GQDs leads to photoluminescence (PL) quenching with non-radiative transition to ground state. Presumably oxidation or reduction processes cause a change of effective size and the bandgap.
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