Silica-Encapsulated Efficient and Stable Si Quantum Dots with High Biocompatibility
Quantum Research Laboratory, INRIM, strada delle Cacce 91, 10135, Turin, Italy
Nanoscale Research Letters 2010, 5:1156-1160 doi:10.1007/s11671-010-9619-9Published: 1 May 2010
A facile fabrication method to produce biocompatible semiconductor Quantum Dots encapsulated in high quality and thick thermal oxide is presented. The process employs sonication of porous Si/SiO2 structures to produce flakes with dimension in the 50–200 nm range. These flakes show a coral-like SiO2 skeleton with Si nanocrystals embedded in and are suitable for functionalization with other diagnostic or therapeutic agents. Silicon is a biocompatible material, efficiently cleared from the human body. The Photoluminescence emission falls in the transparency window for living tissues and is found to be bright and stable for hours in the aggressive biological environment.