European J Org Chem. 2022 Nov 7;2022(41):e202200879. doi: 10.1002/ejoc.202200879. Epub 2022 Sep 13.
The development of novel and effective metal-free catalytic systems, which can drive value-added organic transformations in environmentally benign solvents (for instance, water), is highly desirable. Moreover, these new catalysts need to be harmless, easy-to-prepare, and potentially recyclable. In this context, amine-rich carbon dots (CDs) have recently emerged as promising nano-catalytic platforms. These nitrogen-doped nanoparticles, which show dimensions smaller than 10 nm, generally consist of carbon cores that are surrounded by shells containing numerous amino groups. In recent years, organic chemists have used these surface amines to guide the design of several synthetic methodologies under mild operative conditions. This Concept highlights the recent advances in the synthesis of amine-rich carbon dots and their applications in organic catalysis, including forward-looking opportunities within this research field.