Polyethylene glycol (PEG) derived carbon dots: Preparation and applications

Zhili Peng, Chunyu Ji, Yiqun Zhou, Tianshu Zhao, Roger M. Leblanc

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Carbon dots (C-dots), the latest member of the renowned carbon nanomaterials family, have attracted enormous attention for their extraordinary properties. Polyethylene glycol (PEG), as a nontoxic, non-immunogenic and high water soluble polymer, is widely used for the PEGylation of protein/peptide drugs and traditional nanoparticles. Recently, PEG has been heavily investigated regarding their unique capability in enhancing C-dots fluorescence emission, elucidating C-dots formation and photoluminescence mechanism. In this article, we summarized recent excitements of PEGs as passivation agents, solvents/matrices and sole carbon precursors in the synthesis of C-dots. We also discussed the formation mechanism of PEG-derived C-dots as well as their applications in various fields. Current challenges, and perspectives on the future trends of PEG-derived C-dots are also highlighted and discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100677
JournalApplied Materials Today
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Bioimaging
  • Carbon dots
  • Passivation
  • Photoluminescence mechanism
  • Polyethylene glycol (PEG)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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