Since the discovery of their benign (non-toxic) and excellent fluorescent properties, carbon
dots (or C-dots) have attracted extensive attentions and presented a clear demonstration of great potential
in bioanalytical applications. This intrinsic and somewhat exceptional nontoxic property of C-dots
makes them potential alternatives to the conventional semiconductor quantum dots counterpart containing
heavy metals that pose serious health and environmental concerns. After a brief discussion of their
earlier and current synthetic strategies, a comprehensive summary of the synthetic routes together with
their corresponding advantages and disadvantages is reviewed. Functional surface manipulations of Cdots
aiming at improving quantum yield and stability for more excellent fluorescent sensing are summarized. This paper
provides a concise review of recent significant advances in C-dots, focusing on the synthesis, the optical properties and
the analytical applications.
Keywords: Applications, carbon dots, fluorescence, non-toxic, synthesis.
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