Encapsulating Semiconductor Quantum Dots in Supramolecular Cages Enables Ultrafast Guest-Host Electron and Vibrational Energy Transfer

Shuai Lu, Darien J. Morrow, Zhikai Li, Chenxing Guo, Xiujun Yu, Heng Wang*, Jonathan D. Schultz, James P. O’Connor, Na Jin, Fang Fang, Wu Wang, Ran Cui, Ou Chen, Chenliang Su, Michael R. Wasielewski, Xuedan Ma*, Xiaopeng Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the field of supramolecular chemistry, host-guest systems have been extensively explored to encapsulate a wide range of substrates, owing to emerging functionalities in nanoconfined space that cannot be achieved in dilute solutions. However, host-guest chemistry is still limited to encapsulation of small guests. Herein, we construct a water-soluble metallo-supramolecular hexagonal prism with a large hydrophobic cavity by anchoring multiple polyethylene glycol chains onto the building blocks. Then, assembled prisms are able to encapsulate quantum dots (QDs) with diameters of less than 5.0 nm. Furthermore, we find that the supramolecular cage around each QD strongly modifies the photophysics of the QD by universally increasing the rates of QD relaxation processes via ultrafast electron and vibrational energy transfer. Taken together, these efforts expand the scope of substrates in host-guest systems and provide a new approach to tune the optical properties of QDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5191-5202
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Volume145
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 8 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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