By Sacide Melek Kestir, Sultan Şahin Keskin, Özge Ergüder, Nida Ük , Yurdanur Türker, Ilgın Nar, Levent Trabzon, and Caner Ünlü
Cadmium-based quantum dots (QDs) are amongst the most studied nanomaterials due to their excellent photophysical properties, which can be controlled by controlling the size and/or composition of the nanocrystal. However, the ultraprecise control over size and photophysical properties of Cd-based quantum dots and developing user-friendly techniques to synthesize amino acid-functionalized cadmium-based QDs are still the on-going challenges. In this study, we modified a traditional two-phase synthesis method to synthesize cadmium telluride sulfide (CdTeS) QDs. CdTeS QDs were grown with an extremely slow growth-rate (growth saturation of about 3 days), which allowed us to have an ultraprecise control over size, and as a consequence, the photophysical properties. Also, the composition of CdTeS could be controlled by controlling the precursor ratios. The CdTeS QDs were successfully functionalized with a water-soluble amino acid, L-cysteine, and an amino acid derivative, N-acetyl-L-cysteine. Red-emissive L-cysteine-functionalized CdTeS QDs interacted with yellow-emissive carbon dots. The fluorescence intensity of carbon dots increased upon interaction with CdTeS QDs. This study proposes a mild method that allows to grow QDs with an ultraprecise control over the photophysical properties and shows the implementation of Cd-based QDs to enhance the fluorescence intensity of different fluorophores with fluorescence wavelength at higher energy bands.