Charge Transfer as a Probe of the Permeability of Organic Adlayers on Colloidal Semiconductor Quantum Dots

Project: Research project

Project Details


This document describes a proposal to determine the relationship between the chemical composition of organic adlayers on colloidal semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) and the permeability of these adlayers to small molecules, under various environmental conditions. This relationship will be determined using measurements of interfacial charge transfer (CT) between the QD and molecular redox probes.
The native ligand shell that solubilizes and electronically passivates colloidal QDs also presents a physical barrier that impedes a molecule?s approach to the QD surface, and limits the number of available sites per QD for its adsorption. The ligand shell therefore acts as a semi-permeable self-assembled monolayer (SAM). If researchers are to use NPs in analytical, therapeutic, or photocatalytic applications, then they need to control 1) the interaction of the NP with proximate molecules of interest while minimizing non-specific or unproductive interactions, and 2) the stability of the monolayer in various chemical environments. The proposed work is transformative because it identifies and quantifies the non-covalent interactions that dictate a molecule?s motion through a semi-permeable membrane on a nanostructured surface, and facilitates the design of surface chemistries that precisely control the types of chemical reactions, redox reactions, and adsorption events that QDs undergo in a variety of environments. This type of knowledge enables the transition of the QD field from a collection of interesting fundamental systems to the development of functional materials.
Effective start/end date8/1/147/31/17


  • National Science Foundation (CHE-1400596)


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