Homogeneously self-assembled colloidal semiconductor quantum dot monolayers (QD-SAMs) over large areas are promising materials for thin film optoelectronic device applications, especially for display. Although tuning of emission colors from QDs is generally achieved during wet chemical synthesis and before monolayer formation, we propose in this study a simple and effective method to adjust emission colors after the formation of QD-SAMs by a simple one-step heat treatment. CdSe-based core/shell or core/double shell structured QDs (CdSe/ZnS, CdSe/CdZnS, and CdSe/CdS/ZnS) covered with an optimal set of hydrophobic ligands can form homogeneous and stable QD-SAMs at the air-water interface. The QD-SAMs are subsequently transferred onto hydrophobized glass substrates by the Langmuir-Schaefer (LS) method and thermally treated in air. We found a blueshift of more than 35 nm for the emission wavelength (red to green) by a thermal treatment at 280 °C for 150 min with CdSe/ZnS QD-SAMs. The color can be adjusted by changing the heating temperature and the treatment time. The wavelength shift is in the order of CdSe/ZnS(4L) > CdSe/ZnS(6L) = (CdSe/CdZnS) > (CdSe/CdS/ZnS). The energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) microanalysis of a single QD reveals that the blueshift is mainly caused by atomic diffusion-induced alloying of core/shell type QDs. The main problem of this method is the decreasing emission intensity caused by oxidation during the heat treatment; however, this problem can be solved with the use of a SiO2 protective coating on the QD-SAMs. We believe that this simple technique is useful for manufacturing RGB-colored ultrathin QD-SAM films for QD displays such as QD film display, QD color-filter display, and QD light emitting diode.
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