Australian Journal of Chemistry Australian Journal of Chemistry Society
An international journal for chemical science
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Ligand-Stabilized ZnO Quantum Dots: Molecular Dynamics and Experimental Study

Rohul Hayat Adnan A C , Kai Lin Woon A , Narong Chanlek B , Hideki Nakajima B and Wan Haliza Abd. Majid A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Low-Dimensional Materials Research Center, Department of Physics, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

B Synchrotron Light Research Institute (Public Organization), 111 University Avenue, Muang District, Nakhon Ratchasima 3000, Thailand.

C Corresponding author. Email: rohuladnan@gmail.com

Australian Journal of Chemistry - https://doi.org/10.1071/CH17078
Submitted: 9 February 2017  Accepted: 18 May 2017   Published online: 16 June 2017

Abstract

Different aminoalcohol ligands, monoethanolamine (MEA), diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA) were employed to passivate the surface of ZnO quantum dots (ZnO QDs). High-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) imaging revealed that the higher branched aminoalcohols produced smaller sized ZnO QDs. The average size for ZnO/MEA, ZnO/DEA, and ZnO/TEA were found to be 3.2, 2.9, and 2.4 nm. TEA ligands were effective in producing stable, monodisperse ZnO QDs compared with DEA and MEA ligands. Molecular dynamics and semi-empirical calculations suggested that TEA and DEA ligands interact strongly with the partial charge of ZnO dangling bonds and have a large molar volume to hinder the diffusion of precursors through the ligands to the surface of ZnO resulting in a smaller particle size as compared with MEA ligands. As the size of ZnO QDs decreases from ZnO/MEA to ZnO/TEA, the absorption edge and emission peak maximum blue-shifts to a shorter wavelength due to the quantum size effect. The bandgap of ZnO/MEA, ZnO/DEA, and ZnO/TEA was determined to be 3.97, 4.07, and 4.23 eV, and the emission peak was found to be 472, 464, and 458 nm when excited using a 325 nm excitation wavelength, respectively.


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