Development of nitrogen-decorated carbon dots (NCDs) thermally conductive film for windows application

Ronn Goei, Frankie Ting Feng Tan, Amanda Jiamin Ong, Daniel Mandler, Alfred Iing Yoong Tok*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


A thermally conductive film can be used to laterally conduct heat along the surface of glass windows, toward its edges where a heat sink could be located, thereby reducing temperature differential between the inside and outside surfaces of the window and thus lowering cross-sectional conductive heat transfer. This technique can offer optimized thermal energy management to modern buildings without the weight and cost of double- or triple-glazed window panels. In this work, a thermally conductive film was developed using carbon dots with inherently high thermal conductivity. Nitrogen atoms were then added to the carbon dots structure to intensify high-frequency phonon that would result in higher lateral thermal conductivity. The nitrogen-decorated carbon dots (NCDs) were prepared by a simple hydrothermal synthesis of citric acid with the addition of ethylenediamine as the N source. The NCDs were added to a cellulose-based solution and drop-casted onto FTO glass resulting in a transparent, laterally thermally conductive film, that also blocks ultraviolet (UV) and high-intensity blue light radiation. The visible-light transmission of the NCDs’ film was found to be up to 65%, comparable to the commercial solar films. The lateral thermal conductivity of the NCDs’ film increases with increasing N content up to an optimum level, suggesting the role of N to “concentrate’ the high-frequency phonons responsible for effective lateral thermal conductivity of the films.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1065-1072
Number of pages8
JournalCarbon Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Korean Carbon Society.


  • Carbon quantum dots
  • Heat conduction film
  • High-frequency phonon tunneling effect
  • NCDs
  • Nitrogen-decorated carbon dots


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