Liquid lasing from solutions of ligand-engineered semiconductor nanocrystals

Max J.H. Tan, Shreya K. Patel, Jessica Chiu, Zhaoyun Tiffany Zheng, Teri W. Odom*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs) can function as efficient gain materials with chemical versatility because of their surface ligands. Because the properties of NCs in solution are sensitive to ligand-environment interactions, local chemical changes can result in changes in the optical response. However, amplification of the optical response is technically challenging because of colloidal instability at NC concentrations needed for sufficient gain to overcome losses. This paper demonstrates liquid lasing from plasmonic lattice cavities integrated with ligand-engineered CdZnS/ZnS NCs dispersed in toluene and water. By taking advantage of calcium ion-induced aggregation of NCs in aqueous solutions, we show how lasing threshold can be used as a transduction signal for ion detection. Our work highlights how NC solutions and plasmonic lattices with open cavity architectures can serve as a biosensing platform for lab-on-chip devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number154703
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 21 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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