Interestingly, the researchers are still investigating the reason behind their discovery — they don’t yet fully understand why fish scales can be so easily converted into CNOs. What they do know, is that it may have to do with the fact that the collagen contained in fish scales absorbs enough microwave radiation to produce a rapid rise in temperature. This, in turn, leads to thermal decomposition or “pyrolysis”. Pyrolysis produces gases that support the assembly of CNOs.
A new CNO manufacturing method could reduce the cost of next-gen displays
Impressively, the new method requires no extreme temperatures, no complex catalysts, and it takes only 10 seconds. The process also produces CNOs with very high crystallinity, the researchers explain in their paper, also noting that this is incredibly rare for processes using biomass waste.
The scientists also note that their method creates CNOs that are selectively and thoroughly functionalized with (−COOH) and (−OH) groups. One of the benefits of their CNOs’ functionalization and high crystallinity is that it lends great optical properties. Associate Professor Takashi Shirai, who worked on the new research, said, “the CNOs exhibit ultra-bright visible-light emission with efficiency (or quantum yield) of 40 percent. This value, which has never been achieved before, is about 10 times higher than that of previously reported CNOs synthesized via conventional methods.”