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Effect of Reaction Media on the Growth and Photoluminescence of Colloidal CdSe Nanocrystals

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journal contribution
posted on 07.12.2004, 00:00 by Kui Yu, Shanti Singh, Natasha Patrito, Virginia Chu
Using cadium oxide (CdO) as the Cd precursor and tri-n-octylphosphine selenide (TOPSe) as the Se source, TOP-capped and TOP/tri-n-octylphosphine oxide (TOPO)-capped CdSe nanocrystals were synthesized without the use of an acid. The synthetic approach involved the addition of a TOPSe/TOP solution into a CdO/TOP solution with or without TOPO at one temperature and subsequent growth at a lower temperature. The temporal evolution of the optical properties, namely, absorption and luminescence, of the growing nanocrystals was monitored in detail. A comprehensive examination on the control of the photoluminescence (PL) properties was performed by systematically varying the TOP/TOPO weight ratio of the reaction media. Surprisingly, a rational choice of 100% TOP or 80% TOP was found to produce “quality” nanocrystals when monitored under the present experimental conditions and growth-time scale. The term “quality” is mainly based on the sharp features and rich substructure exhibited in the absorption spectra of the growing nanocrystals, as well as the sharp features in the emission spectra with narrow full width at half-maximum (fwhm). There are two distinguishable stages of growth:  an early stage (<5 min) and a later stage. TOP plays a major role in the control of a slow growth rate in the early stage, while TOPO controls slow growth in the later stage. The optical sensitivity of the growing nanocrystals when dispersed in nonpolar or polar solvents was studied, including two size-dependent parameters, namely, the solvent sensitivity (PL intensity) and nonresonant Stokes shift (NRSS). The insights gained from the present study enable a synthetic approach in which high-quality CdSe nanocrystals are achieved with high synthetic reproducibility.