Open Access Nano Express

Near-infrared emitting CdTe0.5Se0.5/Cd0.5Zn0.5S quantum dots: synthesis and bright luminescence

Ping Yang12, Shiquan Wang1 and Norio Murase1*

Author Affiliations

1 Health Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology (AIST), Hayashi-cho, Takamatsu-city, Kagawa, 761-0395, Japan

2 School of Material Science and Engineering, University of Jinan, Jinan, 250022, People’s Republic of China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:615  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-615

Published: 6 November 2012


We present how CdTe0.5Se0.5 cores can be coated with Cd0.5Zn0.5S shells at relatively low temperature (around 200°C) via facile synthesis using organic ammine ligands. The cores were firstly fabricated via a less toxic procedure using CdO, trioctylphosphine (TOP), Se, Te, and trioctylamine. The cores with small sizes (3.2-3.5 nm) revealed green and yellow photoluminescence (PL) and spherical morphologies. Hydrophobic core/shell CdTe0.5Se0.5/Cd0.5Zn0.5S quantum dots (QDs) with tunable PL between green and near-infrared (a maximum PL peak wavelength of 735 nm) were then created through a facile shell coating procedure using trioctylphosphine selenium with cadmium and zinc acetate. The QDs exhibited high PL efficiencies up to 50% because of the formation of a protective Cd0.5Zn0.5S shell on the CdTe0.5Se0.5 core, even though the PL efficiency of the cores is low (≤1%). Namely, the slow growth process of the shell plays an important role for getting high PL efficiencies. The properties of the QDs are largely determined by the properties of CdTe0.5Se0.5 cores and shells preparation conditions such as reaction temperature and time. The core/shell QDs exhibited a small size diameter. For example, the average diameter of the QDs with a PL peak wavelength of 735 nm is 6.1 nm. Small size and tunable bright PL makes the QDs utilizable as bioprobes because the size of QD-based bioprobes is considered as the major limitation for their broad applications in biological imaging.

Quantum dots; Semiconductor; Photoluminescence; Near-infrared; Core/shell