Synthesis and enhanced fluorescence of Ag doped CdTe semiconductor quantum dots†
Doping with intentional impurities is an intriguing way to tune the properties of semiconductor nanocrystals. However, the synthesis of some specific doped semiconductor nanocrystals remains a challenge and the doping mechanism in this strongly confined system is still not clearly understood. In this work, we report, for the first time, the synthesis of stable and water-soluble Ag-doped CdTe semiconductor quantum dots (SQDs) via a facile aqueous approach. Experimental characterization demonstrated the efficient doping of the Ag impurities into the CdTe SQDs with an appropriate reaction time. By doping 0.3% Ag impurities, the Stokes shift is decreased by 120 meV, the fluorescence intensity is enhanced more than 3 times, the radiative rate is enhanced 4.2 times, and the non-radiative rate is efficiently suppressed. These observations reveal that the fluorescence enhancement in Ag-doped CdTe SQDs is mainly attributed to the minimization of surface defects, filling of the trap states, and the enhancement of the radiative rate by the silver dopants. Our results suggest that the silver doping is an efficient method for tuning the optical properties of the CdTe SQDs.