Dispersions of alkyl-capped silicon nanocrystals in aqueous media: Photoluminescence and ageing

F. M. Dickinson, T. A. Alsop, N. Al-Sharif, C. E.M. Berger, H. K. Datta, L. Šiller, M Y Chao, E. M. Tuite, A. Houlton, B. R. Horrocks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (SciVal)


Alkyl-capped silicon nanocrystals can be dispersed in aqueous media by shaking or stirring their solutions in organic solvents (DMSO, ether, THF) with excess water. THF is the most straightforward choice with which to prepare stable aqueous dispersions, because the nanocrystals are very soluble in THF and it is also miscible with water. As little as 0.01% v/v tetrahydrofuran is sufficient. DMSO and ether were the preferred choices for subsequent staining of live cells because THF shows some acute toxicity even when very dilute. The luminescence intensity of the aqueous dispersions is linear in particle concentration and independent of pH over the range 5-9. The sols retain their photoluminescence and are stable against flocculation for at least 6 months.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1573-1580
Number of pages8
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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