University Chemistry ›› 2022, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (5): 2109082.doi: 10.3866/PKU.DXHX202109082

Special Issue: 第2届全国大学生化学实验创新设计竞赛

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Kitchen Waste Has Its Moment: Carbon Quantum Dots That You Can Make at Home from Kitchen Waste and Their Application

Xinyang Tong1, Zijian Ge2, Yuchao Liu2, Qizhi Yao2,3,*(), Lingling Li2,3,*()   

  1. 1 School of the Gifted Young, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China
    2 School of Chemistry and Materials Science, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China
    3 National Demonstration Center for Experimental Chemistry Education (University of Science and Technology of China), Hefei 230026, China
  • Received:2021-09-24 Accepted:2021-10-29 Published:2022-03-09
  • Contact: Qizhi Yao,Lingling Li;


A simple kitchen science experiment was designed to prepare carbon quantum dots using kitchen waste as raw materials, avoiding the hydrothermal method which is currently widely used in laboratories. The experiment requires common kitchen appliances, utensils, and waste material like fruit peelings that are typically discarded; this experiment provides a safe way for kids to prepare carbon quantum dots at home under adult supervision. It can also be carried out for high school students and undergraduates, encouraging them to learn key concepts about carbon quantum dots by introducing related instrumentation as well as understand the applicability of such dots toward the detection of heavy metal ions. Through such experiments, we attempt to engage students in cutting-edge research through fun, simple and frugal kitchen science experiments and aim to refute the rumors of "quantum + life".

Key words: Carbon quantum dots, Experiment to do at home, Kitchen wastes, Multi-level popularization of science, Heavy metal ions detection


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