The Quenching of CdSe Quantum Dots Photoluminescence by Gold Nanoparticles in Solution


  • Posted on the website on 1 April 2002.

To whom correspondence should be addressed at: Laser Dynamics Laboratory, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0400, USA. Fax: 404-894-0294;


The photoluminescence (PL) of CdSe quantum dots (QD) in aqueous media has been studied in the presence of gold nanoparticles (NP) with different shapes. The steady state PL intensity of CdSe QD (1.5–2 nm in size) is quenched in the presence of gold NP. Picosecond bleach recovery and nanosecond time-resolved luminescence measurements show a faster bleach recovery and decrease in the lifetime of the emitting states of CdSe QD in the presence of quenchers. Surfactant-capped gold nanorods (NR) with aspect ratio of 3 and surfactant-capped and citrate-capped nanospheres (NS) of 12 nm diameter were used as quenchers in order to study the effect of shape and surface charge on the quenching rates. The Stern–Volmer kinetics model is used to examine the observed quenching behavior as a function of the quencher concentration. It was found that the quenching rate of NR is more than 1000 times stronger than that of NS with the same capping material. We also found that the quenching rate decreases as the length of the NR decreases, although the overlap between the CdSe emission and the NR absorption increases. This suggests that the quenching is a result of electron transfer rather than long-range (Forster-type) energy transfer processes. The quenching was attributed to the transfer of electron with energies below the Fermi level of gold to the trap holes of CdSe QD. The observed large difference between NR and NS quenching efficiencies was attributed to the presence of the {110} facets only in the NR, which have higher surface energy.