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Authors: I. Moreels, Y. Justo, B. De Geyter, K. Haustraete, J. C. Martins, Z. Hens
Title: Size-tunable, bright, and stable PbS quantum dots: A surface chemistry study
Format: International Journal
Publication date: 2/2011
Journal/Conference/Book: ACS Nano
Editor/Publisher: American Chemical Society, 
Volume(Issue): 5(3) p.2004-2012
DOI: 10.1021/nn103050w
Citations: 377 ( - last update: 26/6/2022)
166 (OpenCitations - last update: 3/5/2022)
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PbS Qdots are synthesized using PbCl2 and elemental sulfur as precursors. The available size range is significantly expanded using tri-n-octylphosphine (TOP), enabling the synthesis of monodisperse suspensions of Qdots with a mean size varying between 3 and 10 nm. The ligand composition and dynamics are investigated with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. We show that the Qdots are passivated solely by highly dynamic OlAm ligands, even when TOP is employed during synthesis. In this respect, TOP is a compound strongly modifying the Qdot synthesis, without affecting the final Qdot surface chemistry. Next, the OlAm ligands are exchanged for oleic acid (OlAc). NMR data show that the OlAc ligands are tightly bound to the Qdot surface, with a coverage of 3.0 ± 0.4 nm−2. In addition, we demonstrate that they are bound as oleate ions. Combining this with the inorganic Qdot composition, we observe that charge-neutral Qdots are obtained when taking into account the charge of the stoichiometric PbS Qdot core, the surface excess of Pb ions, the surface-adsorbed Cl ions and the oleate ligands. The Qdot suspensions are stable under atmospheric conditions, showing no changes in the NMR and absorbance spectra for several weeks. Finally, we determine the photoluminescence quantum yield (PL QY) for OlAc-capped PbS Qdots, synthesized either with or without TOP. In both cases, they are highly luminescent, with PL QY values varying between 20 and 90%, depending on the Qdot size.

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