C-Dots: Potential Applications

Drug Delivery

Due to the excellent photoluminescence, good biocompatibility and nontoxicity of carbon dots (c-dots), they have been widely utilized as nanocarriers for drug delivery. After modification of the surface, targeted drug delivery can be achieved and tracked by bioimaging that benefits from the tunable photoluminescence of c-dots.

The small particle size and tunable surface functionality endow c-dots with the capability to cross the blood-brain barrier or cell membranes.


The photoluminescence of c-dots can be enhanced or quenched by their interactions with various ions or molecules, so c-dots can be applied as sensors to selectively detect the existence of certain ions or molecules.

Photoluminescent Ink

Due to the high photoluminescence intensity, aqueous dispersions of c-dots have also been successfully prepared as photoluminescent ink for fingerprint, 2D or 3D printing.

O2 and H2 Evolution / Water Pollution Treatment

Large surface area and complex surface states allow c-dots to serve as good photocatalyst materials for O2 and H2 evolution and water pollution treatment.