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Keywords:

  • DNA;
  • Lead sulfide;
  • Nanocrystals, semiconductor;
  • Photoluminescence;
  • Quantum efficiency
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The synthesis of efficient photoluminescent quantum dots via growth on a DNA template is reported for the first time. The nanoparticles emit in the second biological window of 1050–1200 nm with quantum efficiencies of 11.5 ± 1 % in aqueous solution, and are stable for over a week in blood plasma at 37 °C. The Figure shows an energy-filtered TEM image of PbS nanocrystals (Pb: orange; P in DNA: green).