Carbon quantum dot-based nanoprobes for metal ion detection
Small carbon nanoparticles are an emerging member of the carbonaceous nanomaterial family and have been subsequently named as “carbon quantum dots” or “carbon nanodots”. Generally, carbon quantum dots are a type of spherical or sphere-like nanoparticles of less than 10 nm in size. Due to their unique properties, for example, size-dependent fluorescence, non-toxicity, biocompatibility, and easy accessibility, carbon quantum dots possess a great many potential applications in a range of fields from chemical sensing and imaging to catalysis and drug delivery, and thus are appealing to a number of researchers in nanoscience and nanotechnology. In this review, we give a brief introduction of the synthesis and fundamental properties of carbon quantum dots, then present their applications in metal ion sensing in detail along with illustrating the related mechanisms, and finally come up with some challenges currently faced and future outlooks for this fascinating carbon material. We hope this review could be helpful for readers who are preparing to join and/or have joined the research field of carbon quantum dots.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2016 Journal of Materials Chemistry C Most Accessed Manuscripts