Chemistry at the interface between inorganic nanocrystals and their ligands
Colloidal inorganic nanocrystals have been of great interest for fundamental research and industrial development in recent years due to their flexible processibility and unique properties. Colloidal nanocrystals are metastable species in comparison to the corresponding bulk crystals/solids and have to be kinetically stabilized. The most common method to keep them stable is chemically attaching a monolayer of organic molecules to the atoms on the surface of nanocrystals. These organic molecules are often called surfactants, capping groups, or ligands. In addition to the protection function, this monolayer of ligands on the surface of a nanocrystal provides the necessary chemical accessibility for the nanocrystals by varying the terminal groups of the ligands pointing to the outside environment. For both of the functions, the stability of the ligands on the surface of nanocrystals is the key concern, which ultimately determines the stability of the entire nanocrystal/ligands complex. Not much is known regarding the nature and chemical properties of the binding between nanocrystals and their ligands. The following study looks to gather more information about this nature by: (1) studying the stability of ligands on the nanocrystal surface under pH stress, (2) studying the photochemical instability of colloidal nanocrystals exposed to ultraviolet light, and (3) using the photoluminescence of colloidal nanocrystals to determine the packing of ligands on the surface of the nanocrystals.
0488: Inorganic chemistry
0494: Physical chemistry