Optical Properties of Carbon Dots in the Deep-Red to Near-Infrared Region Are Attractive for Biomedical Applications

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number2102325
Journal / PublicationSmall
Issue number43
Online published8 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2021


Carbon dots (CDs) represent a recently emerged class of luminescent materials with a great potential for biomedical theranostics, and there are a lot of efforts to shift their absorption and emission toward deep-red (DR) to near-infrared (NIR) region falling in the biological transparency window. This review offers comprehensive insights into the synthesis strategies aimed to achieve this goal, and the current approaches of modulating the optical properties of CDs over the DR to NIR region. The underlying mechanisms of their absorption, photoluminescence, and chemiluminescence, as well as the related photophysical processes of photothermal conversion and formation of reactive oxygen species are considered. The already available biomedical applications of CDs, such as in the photoacoustic imaging and photothermal therapy, photodynamic therapy, and their use as bioimaging agents and drug carriers are then shortly summarized.

Research Area(s)

  • biological transparency window, carbon dots, near-infrared absorption, near-infrared luminescence, theranostics