Semiconductor nanocrystals dispersed in imidazolium-based ionic liquids: a spectroscopic and morphological investigation
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A growing interest is devoted to the study of imidazolium-based ionic liquids as innovative materials to combine with functional elements for advanced technological applications. Materials based on semiconductor and oxide nanocrystals in ionic liquids can be promising for their integration in lithium batteries, as well as in innovative solar cells. Although the physical chemical properties and the solvation dynamics of bare ionic liquids have been extensively studied, their combination with colloidal nanocrystals still remains almost unexplored. Here, the optical properties of organic-capped luminescent cadmium selenide nanocrystals coated by a shell of zinc sulfide (CdSe(ZnS)) dispersed in 1,3-dialkyl imidazolium ionic liquids have been investigated, also in dependence of the alkyl chain length on the imidazolium ring and of the anion nature, by using both time-integrated and time-resolved optical spectroscopy. The observed variations in decay profiles of the ionic liquid in presence of colloidal nanocrystals suggest that the dispersion of the nanostructures induces modifications in the ionic liquid structural order. Finally, atomic force microscopy analysis has provided insight into the topography of the investigated dispersions deposited as film, confirming the organization of the ionic liquids in super-structures, also upon nanocrystal incorporation.
KeywordsColloidal nanocrystals Ionic liquids Luminescence Optical spectroscopy Time-resolved emission spectroscopy
This study has been financially supported by the EU 7th FP ORION project (CP-IP 229036-2). The authors gratefully thank Solvionic (France) for supplying the ILs.
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