Semiconductor Quantum Dots with Photoresponsive Ligands

Lorenzo Sansalone, Sicheng Tang, Yang Zhang, Ek Raj Thapaliya, Francisco Raymo, Jaume Garcia-Amorós

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Photochromic or photocaged ligands can be anchored to the outer shell of semiconductor quantum dots in order to control the photophysical properties of these inorganic nanocrystals with optical stimulations. One of the two interconvertible states of the photoresponsive ligands can be designed to accept either an electron or energy from the excited quantum dots and quench their luminescence. Under these conditions, the reversible transformations of photochromic ligands or the irreversible cleavage of photocaged counterparts translates into the possibility to switch luminescence with external control. As an alternative to regulating the photophysics of a quantum dot via the photochemistry of its ligands, the photochemistry of the latter can be controlled by relying on the photophysics of the former. The transfer of excitation energy from a quantum dot to a photocaged ligand populates the excited state of the species adsorbed on the nanocrystal to induce a photochemical reaction. This mechanism, in conjunction with the large two-photon absorption cross section of quantum dots, can be exploited to release nitric oxide or to generate singlet oxygen under near-infrared irradiation. Thus, the combination of semiconductor quantum dots and photoresponsive ligands offers the opportunity to assemble nanostructured constructs with specific functions on the basis of electron or energy transfer processes. The photoswitchable luminescence and ability to photoinduce the release of reactive chemicals, associated with the resulting systems, can be particularly valuable in biomedical research and can, ultimately, lead to the realization of imaging probes for diagnostic applications as well as to therapeutic agents for the treatment of cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number73
JournalTopics in Current Chemistry
Volume374
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

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Keywords

  • Electron transfer
  • Energy transfer
  • Photocages
  • Photochromism
  • Quantum dots

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)

Cite this

Sansalone, L., Tang, S., Zhang, Y., Thapaliya, E. R., Raymo, F., & Garcia-Amorós, J. (2016). Semiconductor Quantum Dots with Photoresponsive Ligands. Topics in Current Chemistry, 374(5), [73]. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41061-016-0073-8