Nanomaterials are well known to possess excellent electrical, optical, thermal, catalytic properties and strong mechanical strength, which offer great opportunities to construct nanomaterials-based sensors or devices for monitoring environmental contaminations in air, water and soil. Various nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotubes, gold nanoparticles, silicon nanowires and quantum dots, have been extensively explored in detecting and measuring toxic metal ions, toxic gases, pesticides, and hazardous industrial chemicals with high sensitivity, selectivity and simplicity. In the feature article, we reviewed recent advances in this direction, by classifying nanomaterials into five categories to illustrate the applications of nanomaterials in environmental monitoring.
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