Investigating Fluorescence Quenching of ZnS Quantum Dots by Silver Nanoparticles
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- Jaiswal, A., Sanpui, P., Chattopadhyay, A. et al. Plasmonics (2011) 6: 125. doi:10.1007/s11468-010-9177-0
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Water dispersible zinc sulfide quantum dots (ZnS QDs) with an average diameter of 2.9 nm were synthesized in an environment friendly method using chitosan as stabilizing agent. These nanocrystals displayed characteristic absorption and emission spectra having an absorbance edge at 300 nm and emission maxima (λemission) at 427 nm. Citrate-capped silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) of ca. 37-nm diameter were prepared by modified Turkevich process. The fluorescence of ZnS QDs was significantly quenched in presence of Ag NPs in a concentration-dependent manner with Ksv value of 9 × 109 M−1. The quenching mechanism was analyzed using Stern–Volmer plot which indicated mixed nature of quenching. Static mechanism was evident from the formation of electrostatic complex between positively charged ZnS QDs and negatively charged Ag NPs as confirmed by absorbance study. Due to excellent overlap between ZnS QDs emission and surface plasmon resonance band of Ag NPs, the role of energy transfer process as an additional quenching mechanism was investigated by time-resolved fluorescence measurements. Time-correlated single-photon counting study demonstrated decrease in average lifetime of ZnS QDs fluorescence in presence of Ag NPs. The corresponding Förster distance for the present QD–NP pair was calculated to be 18.4 nm.