Fluorescent alloyed ternary ZnSeS quantum dots (QDs) have been synthesized via the pyrolysis of organometallic precursors. The effects of passivation of ZnTe and ZnTe/ZnS shells on the optical properties of the ternary alloyed ZnSeS core have been studied. A ligand exchange reaction using l-cysteine as a capping ligand was used to obtain water-soluble nanocrystals. The nanocrystals were each characterized by UV/vis absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffractometry (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The photoluminescence (PL) quantum yield (QY) of alloyed ZnSeS QDs was 14% and this value increased to 27% when ZnTe was overcoated around the surface but further coating with a ZnS shell decreased the PL QY slightly to 24%. This implies that ZnTe shell suppressed non-radiative recombination exciton states in the alloyed core while further layering with a ZnS shell offered no further improvement in suppressing the defect states. XPS analysis confirmed the presence of the first shell layering but showed a weakened intensity signal of S (2p) and Se (3d) for the ZnSeS/ZnTe/ZnS QDs. Our work demonstrates for the first time that shell passivation of alloyed Zn-based QDs can offer improved optical properties. We hope the optical information presented in this work will be useful in the selection of alloyed Zn-based QDs appropriate for the intended application.
- Quantum dots
- Quantum yield