Colloidal Semiconductor Nanocrystals: A Study of the Syntheses of and Capping Structures for CdSe
Luminescent quantum dots (QDs) or rods are semiconductor nano-particles that may be used for a wide array of applications such as in electro-optical devices, spectral bar coding, tagging and light filtering. In the case under investigation, the nano-particles are cadmium-selenide (CdSe), though they can be made from cadmium-sulfide, cadmium-telluride or a number of other II-VI and III-V material combinations. The CdSe quantum dots emit visible light at a repeatable wavelength when excited by an ultraviolet source. The synthesis of colloidal quantum dot nanoparticles is usually an organo-metallic precursor, high temperature, solvent based, airless chemical procedure that begins with the raw materials CdO, a high boiling point ligand, and a Se-trioctylphosphine conjugate. This investigation explores the means to produce quantum dots by this method and to activate the surface or modify the reaction chemistry with such molecules as trioctylphosphine oxide, stearic acid, dodecylamine, phenyl sulfone, aminophenyl sulfone, 4,4'dichlorodiphenyl sulfone, 4,4'difluorodiphenyl sulfone, sulfanilamide and zinc sulfide during the production to allow for further applications of quantum dots involving new chemistries of the outer surface. Overall, the project has been an interesting and successful one, producing a piece of equipment, a lot of ideas, and many dots with varied capping structures that have been purified, characterized, and stored in such a way that they are ready for immediate use in future projects.