Characterization of Immobilized Aqueous Quantum Dots: Efforts in High-Resolution Microscopy
AuthorYoung, Amber Lynn
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractSemiconductor quantum dots (QDs), particles several nanometers in diameter, exhibit a range of interesting properties that arise as a result of quantum confinement. Among these characteristics is photoluminescence, and unlike traditional fluorophores, the fluorescence emission of QDs is characterized by broad absorption and narrow emission that is a function of the particle diameter. This allows high spatial resolution to be achieved using spectral discrimination of closely spaced QDs.We propose applying QD fluorescence as a tool to sense the local environment of the QD to achieve wide-field sensing at high-resolution. Many factors influence QD fluorescence from the growth parameters and choice of ligand to the local environment of the QD post-fabrication. Nano-materials in the local QD environment influence the spectral or temporal characteristics of the QD fluorescence and detecting these changes enables identification of the location and motion of these nanoparticles with resolution on the order of a few nanometers.We have fabricated aqueous colloidal cadmium telluride QDs, experimenting with the choice of thiol-based ligand to influence the chemistry in post-processing and application. A wide range of tools have been used to characterize the spectral and physical properties of the QDs. We have successfully immobilized QDs on a variety of substrates including glass coverslips, silicon and indium tin oxide coated glass. Immobilization is achieved with even and consistent distributions of QDs on the substrate by using self-assembly of the colloidal particles onto substrates functionalized with N1-(3-Trimethoxysilylpropyl)diethylenetriamine (DETA) silane.Using fluorescence microscopy we have successfully demonstrated the detection of interactions between QDs and other nano-materials including green fluorescent protein and gold seed particles, demonstrating that QDs may, in principle, be used in a wide field microscopy technique to sense nano-materials with high resolution.
Degree ProgramGraduate College