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Fluorescent metal quantum clusters: an updated overview of the synthesis, properties, and biological applications

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Abstract

Metal quantum clusters are evolving as excellent systems for a wide range of biological applications due to their small size (∼2 nm), tunable optical properties, including optical absorption, photoluminescence (UV to NIR), nonlinear optical properties (two-photon absorption, two-photon fluorescence, and second/third harmonic generation), ultrafast dynamics (relaxation kinetics, electron–phonon coupling, and radiative emission), and magnetism. These excellent properties have resulted in their use in a broad range of applications, including the sensing of ions (heavy metal ions, anions), biomolecules (proteins, DNA, miRNA, and enzymes), biological cells, diagnosis, and therapy. This article presents an introduction to metal quantum clusters, including a brief history of research in this system and an overview of the existing theories to understand their properties. We also discuss the synthesis methods, the various properties of quantum clusters and present a broad and updated overview of the applications of metal quantum clusters in biology.

Graphical abstract: Fluorescent metal quantum clusters: an updated overview of the synthesis, properties, and biological applications

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Publication details

The article was received on 30 Aug 2017, accepted on 23 Oct 2017 and first published on 23 Oct 2017


Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C7TB02320K
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. B, 2017, Advance Article
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    Fluorescent metal quantum clusters: an updated overview of the synthesis, properties, and biological applications

    P. Khandelwal and P. Poddar, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7TB02320K

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