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Publication Date



UM campus only

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Chemistry (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Thomas K. Harris

Second Committee Member

Francisco M. Raymo

Third Committee Member

Roger M. Leblanc

Fourth Committee Member

Wenzhi Li


Quantum dots (QDs) of II-VI semiconductors (CdS, CdSe, and CdTe) in the size range of 1~12 nm have attracted great interest in both fundamental research and technical applications in recent years. Due to their tunable size-dependent emission with high photoluminescence quantum yields, their broad excitation spectra and narrow emission bandwidths, the semiconductor QDs have been intensively investigated in versatile applications, including thin-film light emitting devices (LEDs), low-threshold lasers, optical amplifier media for telecommunication networks and biological labels. Thus, constructing and fabricating highly ordered QDs are of great importance in the field of nanotechnology. The surface chemistry behavior of the TOPO-CdSe QDs and TOPO-(CdSe)ZnS QDs at the air-water interface was carefully examined by various physical measurements. The surface pressure-area isotherms of the Langmuir monolayers of both types of QDs gave the average diameter which matched the value determined by TEM measurements. Topographic study of the Langmuir monolayers of both QDs revealed the 2D aggregation during the early stage of the compression process. The stability of the Langmuir monolayer of the TOPO-(CdSe)ZnS QDs was measured by the compression/decompression cycle and the kinetic measurements, both of which indicated that TOPO capped (CdSe)ZnS QDs can form stable Langmuir monolayers at the air-water interface. Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) film of the TOPO-(CdSe)ZnS QDs were prepared on quartz slides at different surface pressures and characterized by photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy. The linear increase of the PL intensity with the increase of the number of layers deposited onto the quartz slide implied a homogeneous deposition of the Langmuir monolayer. The conjugates of 10, 12-pentacosadiynoic acid (PDA) and short chain peptide was used to modify the surface of (CdSe)ZnS core-shell QDs. The PDA-peptide capped QDs formed stable Langmuir monolayer. After the photopolymerization of PDA-peptide-QDs/PDA-peptide system at the air-water interface, a more uniform and robust Langmuir monolayer was constructed. The 3-mercaptopropyltrimethoxysilane (MPS) was linked to (CdSe)ZnS QDs by ligand exchange method. The sol-gel process of the MPS capped QDs Langmuir monolayer was studied under various subphases of pH and reaction time. The fast sol-gel process under a subphase of pH 12.0 led the formation of a more homogeneous Langmuir monolayer. A smooth MPS-QDs LB film deposited under pH 12.0 was also observed by AFM measurements. The imaging of the aggregates of lysozyme using lysozyme/(CdSe)ZnS QDs conjugate as a PL label was investigated. The amyloid fibrils formed by lysozyme/lysozyme-QDs conjugate were observed by epifluorescence microscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) measurements. The emission intensity of the QDs labeled lysozyme was increased about 3 fold after formation of amyloid. This approach, for the first time, provided a convenience method to image the amyloid fibrils by epifluorescence microscopy.


Quantum Dots; Photopolymerization; Langmuir; Sol-gel Process; Lysozyme