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Issue 16, 2016
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Ratiometric fluorescence, electrochemiluminescence, and photoelectrochemical chemo/biosensing based on semiconductor quantum dots

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Abstract

Ratiometric fluorescent sensors, which can provide built-in self-calibration for correction of a variety of analyte-independent factors, have attracted particular attention for analytical sensing and optical imaging with the potential to provide a precise and quantitative analysis. A wide variety of ratiometric sensing probes using small fluorescent molecules have been developed. Compared with organic dyes, exploiting semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) in ratiometric fluorescence sensing is even more intriguing, owing to their unique optical and photophysical properties that offer significant advantages over organic dyes. In this review, the main photophysical mechanism for generating dual-emission from QDs for ratiometry is discussed and categorized in detail. Typically, dual-emission can be obtained either with energy transfer from QDs to dyes or with independent dual fluorophores of QDs and dye/QDs. The recent discovery of intrinsic dual-emission from Mn-doped QDs offers new opportunities for ratiometric sensing. Particularly, the signal transduction of QDs is not restricted to fluorescence, and electrochemiluminescence and photoelectrochemistry from QDs are also promising for sensing, which can be made ratiometric for correction of interferences typically encountered in electrochemistry. All these unique photophysical properties of QDs lead to a new avenue of ratiometry, and the recent progress in this area is addressed and summarized here. Several interesting applications of QD-based ratiometry are presented for the determination of metal ions, temperature, and biomolecules, with specific emphasis on the design principles and photophysical mechanisms of these probes.

Graphical abstract: Ratiometric fluorescence, electrochemiluminescence, and photoelectrochemical chemo/biosensing based on semiconductor quantum dots

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Mar 2016, accepted on 22 Mar 2016 and first published on 23 Mar 2016


Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C6NR01912A
Citation: Nanoscale, 2016,8, 8427-8442

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    Ratiometric fluorescence, electrochemiluminescence, and photoelectrochemical chemo/biosensing based on semiconductor quantum dots

    P. Wu, X. Hou, J. Xu and H. Chen, Nanoscale, 2016, 8, 8427
    DOI: 10.1039/C6NR01912A

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