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Keywords:

  • aerogels;
  • CdTe nanocrystals;
  • Au nanocrystals;
  • colloidal synthesis;
  • photochemical gelation

Abstract

Mixed metal–semiconductor nanocrystal aerogels are fabricated, which are light-emitting and highly porous macroscopic monoliths. Thiol-stabilized CdTe and Au nanoparticles from aqueous synthesis act as building blocks for the hybrid material. The Au colloids undergo a surface-modification to enhance the particle stability and achieve thiol functionalities. A photochemical treatment is applied for the gelation process which is found to be reversible by subsequent addition of thiol molecules. Via supercritical drying aerogels are formed. The variation of the initial CdTe to Au nanoparticle ratio permits a facile tuning of the content and the properties of the resulting aerogels. The obtained structures were characterized by means of optical spectroscopy, electron microscopy, elemental analysis, and nitrogen physisorption.