Carbon Dots: From Synthesis to Unraveling the Fluorescence Mechanism

Maha Alafeef, Indrajit Srivastava, Teresa Aditya, Dipanjan Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Carbon dots (CDs) being a new type of carbon-based nanomaterial have attracted intensive interest from researchers owing to their excellent biophysical properties. CDs are a class of fluorescent carbon nanomaterials that have emerged as a promising alternative to traditional quantum dots and organic dyes in applications including bioimaging, sensing, and optoelectronics. CDs possess unique optical properties, such as tunable emission, facile synthesis, and low toxicity, making them attractive for many applications in biology, medicine, and environmental areas. The synthesis of CDs is achievable by a variety of methods, including bottom-up and top-down approaches, involving the use of different carbon sources and surface functionalization strategies. However, understanding the fluorescence mechanism of CDs remains a challenge. Various mechanistic models have been proposed to explain their origin of luminescence. This review summarizes the recent developments in the synthesis and functionalization of CDs and provides an overview of the current understanding of the fluorescence mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2303937
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 25 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • General Chemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • General Materials Science
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)

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