Functionalized fluorescent nanomaterials for sensing pollutants in the environment: A critical review

Laxman Walekar, Tanushree Dutta, Pawan Kumar, Yong Sik Ok, Samadhan Pawar, Akash Deep, Ki Hyun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


Quantitation of environmental pollutants has gained momentum due to its widespread requirement in the fields of clinical research, occupational hygiene, public health, and societal welfare. The use of functionalized fluorescent nanomaterials (FFNMs: e.g., metal nanoparticles, semiconductor quantum dots, carbon dots, nanotubes, and nanocrystals) has opened a new avenue for creating simple, selective, and non-invasive real-time analysis, as they can satisfy the growing demand for rapid and cost-effective quantitation. Here, we discuss novel strategies for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of a variety of organic and inorganic environmental pollutants by detecting changes in photo-physical or optical properties (e.g., fluorescence, absorbance, and color) of FFNMs used as probes. Particularly, we emphasize potential approaches for the synthesis and characterization of FFNMs and their underlying interactions with environmental pollutants. The simplification of design and enhancement of specificity towards target analytes should be pursued further to upgrade their real-world applicability in diverse fields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-467
Number of pages10
JournalTrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Characterization techniques
  • Detection
  • Environmental pollutants
  • Functionalized fluorescent nanomaterials
  • Luminescence
  • Quenching
  • Synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy


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