Water-Soluble Nanocrystals Through Dual-Interaction Ligands


  • We thank Prof. Randolph Duran and Dr. Jorge Chávez for DLS measurements, and Dr. Yunjun Wang for helpful discussions. Y.C.C. acknowledges the NSF (DMR-0645520 Career Award), ONR (N00014-06-1-0911) and the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund (42542-G10) for support of this research.


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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.