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Issue 44, 2018
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Low temperature aqueous synthesis of size-controlled nanocrystals through size focusing: a quantum dot biomineralization case study

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Abstract

Traditional quantum dot synthesis techniques rely on the separation of nucleation and growth to control nanocrystal size. However, the same goal can be achieved through slow and continuous introduction of reactive precursors to keep the growth mechanism in the size focusing regime throughout synthesis. In this work, we demonstrate the efficacy of this approach within the framework of functional material biomineralization where, despite simultaneous nucleation and growth of particles, this growth mechanism enables size-controlled nanocrystal synthesis. Herein, the single enzyme cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE) is utilized to biomineralize CdS nanocrystals via the slow, but continuous turnover of the amino acid L-cysteine to produce H2S. Nanocrystal nucleation and growth theories confirm that consistent addition of monomers will result in a high supersaturation term, driving the nanocrystal growth mechanism into the size focusing regime. We further confirm this theory by mimicking biomineralization via chemical routes and demonstrate the influence of varying supersaturation, to further control the average nanocrystal size. Finally, altering the chelation strength of the capping agent L-cysteine is found to play a key role in balancing nanocrystal growth in solution and long-term stability.

Graphical abstract: Low temperature aqueous synthesis of size-controlled nanocrystals through size focusing: a quantum dot biomineralization case study

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Publication details

The article was received on 31 Jul 2018, accepted on 31 Oct 2018 and first published on 31 Oct 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8NR06166A
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018,10, 20785-20795
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    Low temperature aqueous synthesis of size-controlled nanocrystals through size focusing: a quantum dot biomineralization case study

    L. C. Spangler, J. P. Cline, C. J. Kiely and S. McIntosh, Nanoscale, 2018, 10, 20785
    DOI: 10.1039/C8NR06166A

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