This critical review covers the use of carbon nanomaterials (single-wall carbon nanotubes, multi-wall carbon nanotubes, graphene, and carbon quantum dots), semiconductor quantum dots, and composite materials based on the combination of the aforementioned materials, for analytical applications using electrogenerated chemiluminescence. The recent discovery of graphene and related materials, with their optical and electrochemical properties, has made possible new uses of such materials in electrogenerated chemiluminescence for biomedical diagnostic applications. In electrogenerated chemiluminescence, also known as electrochemiluminescence (ECL), electrochemically generated intermediates undergo highly exergonic reactions, producing electronically excited states that emit light. These electron-transfer reactions are sufficiently exergonic to enable the excited states of luminophores, including metal complexes, quantum dots and carbon nanocrystals, to be generated without photoexcitation. In particular, this review focuses on some of the most advanced and recent developments (especially during the last five years, 2010-2014) related to the use of these novel materials and their composites, with particular emphasis on their use in medical diagnostics as ECL immunosensors.
- carbon nanomaterials
- electrochemiluminescence (ECL)
- quantum dots