Synthetic approaches, modification strategies and the application of quantum dots in the sensing of priority pollutants

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and nitro-aromatic compounds (NACs) are two classifications of environmental pollutants that have become a source of health concerns. As a result, there have been several efforts towards the development of analytical methods that are efficient and affordable that can sense these pollutants. In recent decades, a wide range of techniques has been developed for the detection of pollutants present in the environment. Among these different techniques, the use of semiconductor nanomaterials, also known as quantum dots, has continued to gain more attention in sensing because of the optical properties that make them useful in the identification and differentiation of pollutants in water bodies. Reported studies have shown great improvement in the sensing of these pollutants. This review article starts with an introduction on two types of organic pollutants, namely polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and nitro-aromatic explosives. This is then followed by different quantum dots used in sensing applications. Then, a detailed discussion on different groups of quantum dots, such as carbon-based quantum dots, binary and ternary quantum dots and quantum dot composites, and their application in the sensing of organic pollutants is presented. Different studies on the comparison of water-soluble quantum dots and organic-soluble quantum dots of a fluorescence sensing mechanism are reviewed. Then, different approaches on the improvement of their sensitivity and selectivity in addition to challenges associated with some of these approaches are also discussed. The review is concluded by looking at different mechanisms in the sensing of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and nitro-aromatic compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11580
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Detection
  • Nitro-aromatic explosives
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Instrumentation
  • General Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Synthetic approaches, modification strategies and the application of quantum dots in the sensing of priority pollutants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this