Ligand Locking on Quantum Dot Surfaces via a Mild Reactive Surface Treatment

Anna Loiudice, Ona Lecina, Aurélien Bornet, Joseph Luther, Raffaella Buonsanti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus Citations


At the outermost surface of colloidal QDs are organic surface ligands which dynamically bind and release in solution to control the growth kinetics, control the size/shape of the crystals, passivate surface states, and provide colloidal stability through favorable interactions with the solvent. However, the dynamicity comes at the expense of the stability of the QD suspension. Here, we show that ligands can be permanently locked on the QD surface by a thin layer of an inert metal oxide which forms within the ligand shell, over the headgroup. By interrogating the surface chemistry with different spectroscopic methods, we prove the ligand locking on the QD surface. As a result, an exceptional stability of the coated QD inks is achieved in a wide concentration range, even in the presence of chemically competing surface ligands in solution. We anticipate that this critical breakthrough will benefit different areas related to colloidal QDs, spanning from single-particle studies to displays and solar cells and biological applications. Furthermore, the same chemistry could be easily translated to surface treatments of bulk materials and thin films.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)13418-13427
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number33
StatePublished - 25 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-79707


  • ALD
  • ligands
  • nanocrystals
  • quantum dots


Dive into the research topics of 'Ligand Locking on Quantum Dot Surfaces via a Mild Reactive Surface Treatment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this