Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.565, 35-42, 2020
Strongly emitting and long-lived silver indium sulfide quantum dots for bioimaging: Insight into co-ligand effect on enhanced photoluminescence
Nanoscale ternary chalcogenides have attracted increasing research interest due to their merits of tunable properties and diverse applications in energy and biomedical fields. In this article, silver indium sulfide quantum dots supported by glutathione and polyethyleneimine as dual-ligands have been synthesized through an environmentally friendly and reproducible aqueous method. An emission quantum yield up to 37.2% has been achieved by glutathione as co-ligand bearing electron-rich groups, much higher than that of polyethyleneimine coated quantum dots (4.97%). Both spectroscopic and structural characterizations demonstrate that the photoluminescence enhancement is attributed to change of surface properties by glutathione as co-ligand. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) results and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) reveal that glutathione covers the QDs with a higher density on the nanocrystal surface than other co-ligands. Therefore, it can effectively passivate the surface trap centers, thus decreasing the non-radiative emission. Moreover, the resultant silver indium sulfide quantum dots present surprisingly long lifetime of 3.69 pis, excellent fluorescent stability and low cytotoxicity, which enables them to be ideal candidate for real-time bioimaging. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.