Carbon and Graphene in Analytical Science

I am excited to present to you this themed issue of Analyst titled “Carbon and Graphene in Analytical Science”. In recent years, various forms of carbon, ranging from amorphous carbon to graphene, have played a major role in research on analytical sensing and detection technologies. This themed issue encompasses recent excellent research in the utilization of these carbon materials in analytical science. The themed issue is divided into six broad categories, starting with three reviews, which cover the areas of electroanalysis based on carbon dots (Ying and Peng, DOI: 10.1039/C5AN02321A), sensors nanoarchitectonics based on carbon materials (Ariga et al., DOI: 10.1039/C6AN00057F), and magnetic impurities in carbon nanotubes (Kalbáč et al., DOI: 10.1039/C6AN00248J).

The ensuing Research section discusses carbon quantum dots, which is currently the hottest topic in the field of carbon materials. Carbon quantum dots are utilized in sensing systems for the detection of ferric ion (Gooding et al., DOI: 10.1039/C5AN02231B) and etoposide (Kizek et al., DOI: 10.1039/C5AN02476E) or for cell imaging (Gooding et al., DOI: 10.1039/C5AN02231B) in their native state. Alternatively, carbon quantum dots doped with nitrogen or terbium or functionalized with cyclodextrin are utilized for the detection of picric acid (Huang et al., DOI: 10.1039/C5AN02569A) and C60 molecule (Valcárcel et al., DOI: 10.1039/C5AN01910A) or are applied in complex enzymatic analytical systems (Valcárcel et al., DOI: 10.1039/C6AN00357E).

The next topic covers graphene and includes a range of cutting edge articles in this popular research area. The first article describes a very innovative route to analyze graphene sheets in aqueous solution by utilizing a combination of ferrocene labeling and “impact electrochemistry” method (Compton et al., DOI: 10.1039/C5AN02550H). Systems utilizing graphene as a platform, such as in large-scale FET sensor (Mackin and Palacios, DOI: 10.1039/C5AN02328A) or in SALDI-MS (Hong et al., DOI: 10.1039/C5AN02440D), are presented in the following articles. Subsequently, the second half of this topic features the application of doped and modified graphene materials for the detection of RNA (Jin et al., DOI 10.1039/C6AN00233A), antibodies (Tavares et al., DOI: 10.1039/C6AN00044D) or glucose (Wang et al., DOI: 10.1039/C5AN02654G).

While the developments of carbon quantum dots and graphene-based sensors are mostly still positioned in academia, carbon nanotube (CNT) research has reached maturity and has moved towards commercial applications. To this end, the next topic will highlight excellent examples of such translational research which include a CNT web-based sensor (Musameh et al., DOI: 10.1039/C5AN02547H) and a CNT-based chemiresistor for the detection of mercury in saliva (Mulchandani et al., DOI: 10.1039/C6AN00018E).

Impurities in carbon materials are of high general importance, while measurement artifacts are of paramount importance especially for analytical chemists. These topics include articles which discuss the oxidation debris in graphene oxide (Zhu et al., DOI: 10.1039/C5AN02506K) and the artifacts generated by the analysis of carbon-containing compounds (Santos and Eberlin et al., DOI: 10.1039/C5AN02333E).

Lastly, we feature an important topic on measurement methodology. Creative application of contactless conductivity detection is proposed for the characterization of graphene fibers (Paull et al., DOI: 10.1039/C5AN02534F). Furthermore, a persisting question on the influence of solvent and mechanical abrasion on the electrochemical performance of screen-printed electrodes is addressed (Banks et al., DOI: 10.1039/C6AN00440G and DOI: 10.1039/C6AN00167J).

This themed issue contains high profile articles from major research groups in the field and I am glad to feature all of them in a single volume. The themed issue offers you a collection of high quality articles from multiple countries on diverse topics.

I wish to thank the whole editorial team of the Analyst for their enthusiasm and continuous support of this work.

I hope you will enjoy this themed issue!

With best wishes,

image file: c6an90028c-u1.tif

Martin Pumera

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2016