Senior Project Advisor

David Rider

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2023


quantum dots, nanoparticles, semiconducting nanocrystals, materials science, surface chemistry, functionalization, biocompatibility, ligand exchange


Quantum dots offer tunable electronic and optical properties due to the quantum confinement effect, making them desirable for various applications. However, their native hydrophobic form requires surface chemistry modification for certain applications. This research explores the method of ligand exchange using 11-mercapto-1-undecanol for improving the stability of copper indium disulfide (CIS) quantum dot (QD) nanoparticles in polar environments. The effects of this ligand exchange on QD chemical composition, optical properties, hydroxy-reactivity, and hydrodynamic radius are characterized. Analysis of characterization results indicates successful surface modification through hydroxyfunctionalization, as confirmed by 1H-NMR and IR spectroscopy. The desired optical properties of the QDs are retained post-surface modification, with no significant reduction in quantum yield. Additionally, the reaction of hydroxy-functionalized QDs with toluene diisocyanate (TDI) demonstrates successful binding of the hydroxy groups, indicating the suitability of ligand-exchanged QDs for further reactions and processing needed for future applications. Particle size comparison via differential light scattering reveals that ligand-exchanged QDs maintain a relatively small size compared to other hydroxy-functionalization methods. Overall, the ligand exchange method shows promise for enhancing the stability and biocompatibility of QDs, unlocking potential applications in nanotechnology previously not accessible.






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