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Keywords:

  • fluorescent probes;
  • hydrophobic interactions;
  • ligand design;
  • nanotechnology;
  • water chemistry
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

No fear of water: Hydrophobic nanocrystals (NCs) are converted into hydrophilic ones by dual-interaction ligands, which bind onto the surface of NCs by coordinate bonding and hydrophobic van der Waals interactions. The resulting NCs have high stability in aqueous solutions over a wide pH range (1–14), salt concentrations, and thermal treatments. Quantum dots coated with these ligands are excellent fluorescence labels for immunostaining tests.