Using cysteine and its derivatives as capping molecules, we investigated the influence of the physical structure and chemical nature of capping molecules on the selective growth and stabilization of small CdSe nanoparticles (NPs) in aqueous solution at room temperature. Our investigations revealed specific roles for each functional group of cysteine, and we could correlate this structure and nature of the capping molecules with the size, size restriction, size distribution, and stability of the NPs. For selective growth and stabilization of the NPs in aqueous solution, their capping molecules should have at least one functional group with strong nucleophilicity as well as another free, charged functional group. Capping molecules acting as a monodentate ligand were more effective than those acting as a bidentate ligand for restricting the NPs to a smaller size, whereas the former was less effective than the latter for getting a narrower NP size distribution. Capping molecules with relatively bulky spatial geometry near the ligand-NP interface resulted in the formation of NPs with poor shortand long-term stabilities, whereas those having relatively compact spatial geometry near the interface led to NPs with at least moderate short-term stability. We saw that capping molecules having relatively compact outermost spatial geometry led to NPs with excellent long-term stability, whereas those having relatively bulky outermost spatial geometry produced NPs with at most only moderate long-term stability. Our results clearly showed general trends for the possibility of selective growth of stable semiconductor NPs with particular sizes in aqueous solution.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)