Aggregation-induced responses (AIR) of 2D-derived layered nanostructures enable emerging colorimetric and fluorescence sensors
Layered nanostructures (LNs), including two-dimensional nanosheets, nanoflakes, and planar nanodots, show large surface-to-volume ratios, unique optical properties, and desired interfacial activities. LNs are highly promising as alternative probes and platforms due to numerous merits, e.g. signal amplification, improved recognition ability, and anti-interference capacity, for emerging sensing applications. Significantly, when stimuli-responsive aggregation occurs, the modified LNs show engineered morphologies, attractive optical absorption and fluorescence characteristics, which are remarkably programmable. On the basis of the altered aggregation behaviours of LNs, as well as their modulated physical and chemical characteristics, a series of novel sensing assays exhibiting enhanced sensitivity, simple operation, multiple functions, and improved anti-interference capacity are reported, contributing to both point-of-care testing and high-throughput measurements. Herein, the aggregation-induced response sensing strategies of LNs are comprehensively summarized with the classification of materials and variation of aggregated routes aiming at understanding dimension-dependent features, expanding nanoscale biosensor applications, and addressing key issues in disease diagnosis and environmental analysis.