Carbon-dot-aerogel sensor for aromatic volatile organic compounds

Susmita Dolai, Susanta Kumar Bhunia, Raz Jelinek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Detection of aromatic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is important for monitoring occupational hazards, industrial safety, and environmental applications. Here, we present a new in-situ-synthesized carbon dot – aerogel matrix and demonstrate its application for sensing aromatic VOCs. The composite aerogel exhibited high specific surface area and pore diameter, enabling efficient adsorption of the organic vapors. In particular, the excitation-dependent luminescence emission properties of the carbon dots were retained upon embedding within the aerogel host, and provided a sensitive transduction mechanism through both shifts and quenching of the fluorescence emissions. We show that distinct fluorescence shifts and degrees of quenching were induced by different aromatic VOCs. In particular, the C-dot-aerogel sensor could distinguish between isomers of phenylenediamine, an important achievement which has not been previously demonstrated in VOC sensing platforms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-613
Number of pages7
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
StatePublished - 31 Mar 2017


  • Aerogel
  • Carbon dots
  • Fluorescence quenching
  • Gas sensors
  • Phenylenediamines
  • VOCs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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