Carbon dots are fluorescent nanoparticles that show similar physical and optical properties to the well-known semiconductor quantum dots. However, the building block of carbon dots is made primarily out of carbon, with some doped heteroatoms, creating a nanoparticle that is more biocompatible and less toxic compared with the quantum dots that commonly contain heavy metals.
They can be easily prepared via various economical and environmentally friendly approaches,
and can be designed with biomolecules to achieve the required biosensing properties. The analytical performance of the nanoprobes can be improved significantly due to the large surface to volume ratio of the carbon dots. The fluorescence serves as a sensing signal, and responds accordingly to the results of the interaction between the carbon dots and the analyte of interest
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