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Semiconductor Nanocrystals: Doped Compositions

  1. Javier Vela,
  2. Jennifer A. Hollingsworth

Published Online: 15 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/0470862106.ia392

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

Vela, J. and Hollingsworth, J. A. 2009. Semiconductor Nanocrystals: Doped Compositions. Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2009


We review the state of the art in the field of semiconductor nanocrystal (SC NC) doping, with emphasis on cationic doping for modified optical and magnetic properties. Doping has the potential to greatly expand the already vast technological promise of SC NCs by allowing for the introduction of dopant-specific or dopant-modified properties. In the last several years, tremendous progress has been made with respect to both the understanding and implementation of SC NC–doping strategies. Here, we review the prevailing theoretical models (the “dopant extrusion model” and the “sticky surface model”) underpinning the current understanding of the process of dopant ion incorporation during NC growth. Further, we review the general synthetic approaches that have been developed in the context of this understanding, as well as many specific examples of SC NC–dopant systems, revealing both the successes and those that have fallen short in either achieving doping or fully demonstrating that doping was achieved. In support of this aim, we also provide a summary of the characterization methods (spectroscopic, structural, and chemical) that are critical for critiquing the doped system. We have necessarily focused on cationic doping as anionic doping has yet to be realized in a similar fashion. Further, the topic of electronic doping is only briefly addressed. While examples are reasonably abundant with respect to transition metal and lanthanide doping for modified magnetic/optical and optical properties respectively, permanent electronic doping of SC NCs has yet to be demonstrated. Finally, we identify (in addition to anionic and electronic doping) the topic areas that remain to be explored in this field of SC NC doping.


  • doping;
  • colloidal;
  • semiconductor;
  • nanocrystal;
  • quantum dot