Stabilization of inorganic nanocrystals by organic dendrons

by Wang, Y. Andrew; Li, J. Jack; Chen, Haiyan; Peng, Xiaogang

A series of hydrophilic organic dendron ligands was designed and synthesized for stabilizing high-quality semiconductor and noble metal nanocrystals. The focal point of the dendron ligands is chosen to be a thiol group which is a universal coordinating site for compound semiconductor and noble metal nanocrystals. The methods for binding these dendron ligands onto the surface of the nanocrystals are simple and straightforward. The thin, about 1-2 nm, but closely packed and tangled ligand she[[ provides sufficient stability for the "dendron-protected nanocrystals" to withstand the rigors of the coupling chemistry and the standard separation/purification techniques. The chemistry presented can be immediately applied for the development of a new generation of biomedical labeling reagents based on high-quality semiconductor nanocrystals. It also provides an alternative path to apply noble metal nanocrystals for developing sensitive detection schemes for chemical and biochemical purposes. The concept may further provide an optimal solution for many other problems encountered in nanocrystal-related research and development, for which the stability of the nanocrystals is a critical issue. Furthermore, the experimental results confirmed that the photochemical stability of colloidal semiconductor and noble metal nanocrystals is the key for developing reliable and reproducible processing chemistry for these nanocrystals.

Journal of the American Chemical Society
Start Page
1520-5126; 0002-7863