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Giant Quantum Dots Show Remarkable Optical Properties

A group of researchers in Chemistry Division recently demonstrated the first all-inorganic approach to suppressing blinking in nanocrystal quantum dots (NQDs) [Chen, et al. J. Am. Chem.
130, 5026 (2008)]. The new NQDs—dubbed "Giant" NQDs--also show remarkable stability against photobleaching and are robust against changes in surface chemistry. NQDs comprise an important class of inorganic fluorophores for applications from optoelectronics to biology. Unfortunately, to date, NQD optical properties (e.g., their efficient and particle-size-tunable photoluminescence) have been susceptible to instabilities at the bulk and single-particle levels.

The team members are Yongfen Chen, Javier Vela, Han Htoon, Joanna Casson, Donald Werder, David Bussian, Victor Klimov, and Jennifer Hollingsworth (PI). This work will be featured in the April 24, 2008 edition of Nature as a Research Highlight.


Fluorescence time traces of single, representative NQDs: (left) commercial Qdot655ITK, and (right) CdSe/19CdS g-NQD. Statistical analyses of many such time traces were used to prepare "on-time" histograms for the respective NQDs. Critically, on-time fraction was  >99% for 20% of the g-NQDs--compared to standard commercial NQDs for which 90% were "on" less than 35% of the time.

May, 2008

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