Research Topic

Advances in Luminescent Carbon Dots: Fundamentals, Development, and Applications

About this Research Topic

Carbon dots as emerging luminescent carbon-based nanomaterials have promising applications in bioimaging, sensing, and energy conversion. As alternatives to the conventional metal/semiconductor quantum dots, these nanoscopic carbon particles within 10 nm in size have benefits including excellent biocompatibility, high physicochemical robustness, tunable emission, efficient charge separation, facile synthesis, and low cost.

Depending on the carbon precursors and strategies used in synthesis, carbon dots can be generally categorized into three types: carbon nanodots, graphene quantum dots, and polymer dots. These carbon dots display varied emission spectra, quantum yields, and external environment responses because of different structures of inner carbon cores and surface components. In the last two decades, notable progress has been made developing controllable approaches for the designated structure, size, shape, and surface chemistry of carbon dots. Nevertheless, understanding the conclusive photoluminescence mechanism of carbon dots remains a significant challenge, hindering their controllable mass-production and applications in the real world.

This Research Topic aims to collect recent developments and applications of carbon dots as well as highlight prospective directions in the field. Of primary interest are original research and review articles regarding strategies to tune the emission spectra of carbon dots in a broad range, methods to improve the quantum yields and brightness of carbon dots, as well as modify the surface chemistry of carbon dots and all aspects of utilizing carbon dots for sensing, biological tracking, and energy-oriented applications. Through this Research Topic the photoluminescence mechanism of carbon dots will be further understood and will also provide new insights into the future of the field in carbon dots.

Potential themes may include, but are not limited to:
• New synthesis approaches of carbon dots;
• Surface functionalization and modification of carbon dots;
• Theoretical and experimental studies on light-emitting mechanisms;
• Self-assembly of carbon dots and related properties;
• Applications of carbon dots in catalysis, sensing, analysis, solar cells, photovoltaics, and tracking.


Keywords: Carbon dots, luminescence, quantum dots, light-emitting mechanism, applications


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Carbon dots as emerging luminescent carbon-based nanomaterials have promising applications in bioimaging, sensing, and energy conversion. As alternatives to the conventional metal/semiconductor quantum dots, these nanoscopic carbon particles within 10 nm in size have benefits including excellent biocompatibility, high physicochemical robustness, tunable emission, efficient charge separation, facile synthesis, and low cost.

Depending on the carbon precursors and strategies used in synthesis, carbon dots can be generally categorized into three types: carbon nanodots, graphene quantum dots, and polymer dots. These carbon dots display varied emission spectra, quantum yields, and external environment responses because of different structures of inner carbon cores and surface components. In the last two decades, notable progress has been made developing controllable approaches for the designated structure, size, shape, and surface chemistry of carbon dots. Nevertheless, understanding the conclusive photoluminescence mechanism of carbon dots remains a significant challenge, hindering their controllable mass-production and applications in the real world.

This Research Topic aims to collect recent developments and applications of carbon dots as well as highlight prospective directions in the field. Of primary interest are original research and review articles regarding strategies to tune the emission spectra of carbon dots in a broad range, methods to improve the quantum yields and brightness of carbon dots, as well as modify the surface chemistry of carbon dots and all aspects of utilizing carbon dots for sensing, biological tracking, and energy-oriented applications. Through this Research Topic the photoluminescence mechanism of carbon dots will be further understood and will also provide new insights into the future of the field in carbon dots.

Potential themes may include, but are not limited to:
• New synthesis approaches of carbon dots;
• Surface functionalization and modification of carbon dots;
• Theoretical and experimental studies on light-emitting mechanisms;
• Self-assembly of carbon dots and related properties;
• Applications of carbon dots in catalysis, sensing, analysis, solar cells, photovoltaics, and tracking.


Keywords: Carbon dots, luminescence, quantum dots, light-emitting mechanism, applications


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

11 September 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

11 September 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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