Surface-amplified ligand disorder in CdSe quantum dots determined by electron and coherent vibrational spectroscopies

Matthew T. Frederick, Jennifer L. Achtyl, Kathryn E. Knowles, Emily A. Weiss, Franz M. Geiger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


This Article reports measurements of the intra-and intermolecular ordering of tight-binding octylphosphonate ligands on the surface of colloidal CdSe quantum dots (QDs) within solid state films, and the dependence of this order on the size of the QDs. The order of the organic ligands, as probed by vibrational sum frequency generation (SFG) spectroscopy, decreases as the radius of the QDs decreases; this decrease is correlated with a decrease in the order of underlying Cd2+, as detected by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) line width measurements, for radii of the QDs, R > 2.4 nm, and is independent of the disorder of the Cd2+ for R < 2.4 nm. We believe that, for R < 2.4, the decreasing order of the ligands with decreasing size is due to an increase in the curvature of the QD surfaces. Disorder in the Cd2+ results from the presence of a shell of Cd2+- surfactant complexes that form during synthesis, so this work demonstrates the possibility for chemical control over molecular order within films of colloidal QDs by changing the surfactant mixture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7476-7481
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 18 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Surface-amplified ligand disorder in CdSe quantum dots determined by electron and coherent vibrational spectroscopies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this