Main content area

Controlled self-assembly of hydrophobic quantum dots through silanization

Yang, Ping, Ando, Masanori, Murase, Norio
Journal of colloid and interface science 2011 v.361 no.1 pp. 9-15
emulsions, hydrolysis, hydrophobicity, ligands, nanocomposites, oil-water interface, photoluminescence, quantum dots, sol-gel processing, solvents
We demonstrate the formation of one-, two-, and three-dimensional nanocomposites through the self-assembly of silanized CdSe/ZnS quantum dots (QDs) by using a controlled sol–gel process. The self-assembly behavior of the QDs was created when partially hydrolyzed silicon alkoxide monomers replaced hydrophobic ligands on the QDs. We examined systematically self-assembly conditions such as solvent components and QD sizes in order to elucidate the formation mechanism of various QD nanocomposites. The QD nanocomposites were assembled in water phase or on the interface of water and oil phase in emulsions. The partially hydrolyzed silicon alkoxides act as intermolecules to assemble the QDs. The QD nanocomposites with well-defined solid or hollow spherical, fiber-like, sheet-like, and pearl-like morphologies were prepared by adjusting the experimental conditions. The high photoluminescence efficiency of the prepared QD nanocomposites suggests partially hydrolyzed silicon alkoxides reduced the surface deterioration of QDs during self-assembly. These techniques are applicable to other hydrophobic QDs for fabricating complex QD nanocomposites.