Elastic carbon dot/polymer films for fluorescent tensile sensing and mechano-optical tuning

Nitzan Shauloff, Sagarika Bhattacharya, Raz Jelinek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Development of simple, readily-applicable sensors for mechanical deformation of polymers is highly sought albeit a formidable task. Here we demonstrate that composite films comprising carbon dots (C-dots) embedded in an elastic polymer host allow fluorescence-based quantitative determination of tensile modulation. Film stretching induced both blue shift in the C-dots' fluorescence peak positions and dramatic increase in fluorescence intensities. The phenomenon was demonstrated for different C-dots exhibiting distinct fluorescence emissions (e.g. colors). Importantly, the C-dot/polymer fluorescence intensity could be quantitatively correlated to tensile parameters, specifically film stress and strain. The direct correlation is ascribed to stretch-induced modulation of the average distances among the polymer-embedded C-dots and concomitant modification of aggregation-induced self-quenching. We further exploited the tensile-dependent fluorescence modulation of the C-dot/polymer system to construct a tunable-intensity white light emitter, opening the way to innovative mechanically-tuned optical device.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-371
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • Carbon dots
  • Mechano-responsive polymers
  • Stress sensing
  • Tensile strain sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science


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