The influence of the quantum dot/polymethylmethacrylate composite preparation method on the stability of its optical properties under laser radiation
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Photoluminescent semiconductor nanocrystals, quantum dots (QDs), are nowadays one of the most promising materials for developing a new generation of fluorescent labels, new types of light-emitting devices and displays, flexible electronic components, and solar panels. In many areas the use of QDs is associated with an intense optical excitation, which, in the case of a prolonged exposure, often leads to changes in their optical characteristics. In the present work we examined how the method of preparation of quantum dot/polymethylmethacrylate (QD/PMMA) composite influenced the stability of the optical properties of QD inside the polymer matrix under irradiation by different laser harmonics in the UV (355 nm) and visible (532 nm) spectral regions. The composites were synthesized by spin-coating and radical polymerization methods. Experiments with the samples obtained by spin-coating showed that the properties of the QD/PMMA films remain almost constant at values of the radiation dose below ~10 fJ per particle. Irradiating the composites prepared by the radical polymerization method, we observed a monotonic increase in the luminescence quantum yield (QY) accompanied by an increase in the luminescence decay time regardless of the wavelength of the incident radiation. We assume that the observed difference in the optical properties of the samples under exposure to laser radiation is associated with the processes occurring during radical polymerization, in particular, with charge transfer from the radical particles inside QDs. The results of this study are important for understanding photophysical properties of composites on the basis of QDs, as well as for selection of the type of polymer and the composite synthesis method with quantum dots that would allow one to avoid the degradation of their luminescence.
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