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A Facile Strategy to Fabricate Thermoresponsive Polymer Functionalized CdTe/ZnS Quantum Dots: Assemblies and Optical Properties

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Abstract

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Novel thermoresponsive CdTe/ZnS quantum dots (QDs) decorated with a copolymer ligand (CPL) containing 8-hydroxyquinoline and NIPAM units are prepared through coordinate bonding in aqueous solution. The dependence of the morphology and optical properties of the QDs/CPL assemblies formed via coordinate bonding on the experimental conditions is studied. The coordinate induced self-assemblies are observed by controlling the molar ratio of QDs and CPL. The self-organized structure of QDs/CPL proceeds through a first step of QDs-chains, followed by a necklace-like single annular chain, and subsequently increases its annular chain structure, forming a network. The CPL functionalized QDs can emit multiple colors from the cooperating interaction between the inherent emission (606 nm) of the QDs and the surface-coordinated emission (517 nm) of the CPL complex formed on the QD surface. For QDs-CPL systems, both Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) and a high rate of photoinduced electron transfer (PET) are simultaneous, the latter mainly contributing to PL quenching. The thermoresponsive QDs/CPL assemblies also exhibit dual reversible PL properties between the inherent emission of QDs and surface-coordinated emission.

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