Stability studies of CdSe nanocrystals in an aqueous environment

Lifei Xi, Jun Yan Lek, Yen Nan Liang, Chris Boothroyd, Wenwen Zhou, Qingyu Yan, Xiao Hu, Freddy Boey Yin Chiang, Yeng Ming Lam

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    In this paper, CdSe nanocrystal dissolution in an aqueous solution was studied. It was found that light is a key factor affecting the dissolution of nanocrystals. In the presence of light, the electrons generated from CdSe nanocrystals reduce water to hydrogen and hydroxide ions (OH − ) while photo-generated holes oxidize CdSe to Cd2 + and elemental Se. The dissolution was accelerated in an acidic medium while moderate alkalinity (pH = 10.3) can slow down the dissolution possibly due to precipitation of nanocrystals. This study has strong implications for the use of these crystals in aqueous environments (bioimaging and dye-sensitized solar cells).
    Original languageEnglish
    Issue number27
    Pages (from-to)275706
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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