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19 April 2016 Drastic difference in luminescence stability between amine- and thiol-capped quantum dots treated with CO2
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Research on the surface chemistry of quantum dots (QDs) has been rapidly developing in recent years, since the understanding of the processes that occur on their surface is prerequisite for successful exploration of the outstanding fluorescence properties and superior stability of these nanomaterials in numerous applications. The lack of stability during long-term storage under atmospheric conditions restricts QD applications. Here, we have investigated the interaction of QDs with carbon dioxide as a model system for studying their long-term storage or operation in atmospheric environment. Quenching of the photoluminescence of CdSe/ZnS semiconductor QDs continuously treated with CO2 has shown that this process depends on the type of the QD surface ligands. The luminescence of QDs capped with amine ligands is quenched to a higher degree, the quenching being caused by the formation of carbamic acid precipitate. The luminescence of QDs capped with thiols remain absolutely stable upon CO2 treatment due to the chemical resistance of thiol functional groups to CO2, which makes this type of QDs suitable for long-term storage and operation under atmospheric conditions. However, further functionalization of such QDs may be difficult, because the strong bond between thiol ligands and QD surface may limit the efficiency of ligand-exchange procedures. A new ligand system of alkylamine salts of fatty acids has been proposed as an alternative to thiols. It has been shown to be inert to CO2, and also can be easily replaced with functional surface ligands. The results are important for development of nextgeneration QDs with superior stability suitable for various applications requiring efficient ligand exchange and operation in the atmospheric environment.
Conference Presentation
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Kirill V. Vokhmintcev, Igor R. Nabiev, and Pavel S. Samokhvalov "Drastic difference in luminescence stability between amine- and thiol-capped quantum dots treated with CO2", Proc. SPIE 9884, Nanophotonics VI, 98841U (19 April 2016);

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