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The total electron charge density (shown in green) of a
quantum dot of gallium arsenide, containing just 465

Effectively a quantum dot is something capable of confining a single electron or a few,

and in which the electrons occupy discrete energy states just as they would in an atom.
Quantum dots have been called artificial atoms, and in fact , and the ability to control
energy states of the electrons by applying a voltage has led to the exotic idea of a
material which can emulate different elements.

QUANTUM DOTS SOUND VERY EXOTIC and indeed they are in terms of the way they
work which is dictated by the rules of quantum mechanics.

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An interesting property of quantum dots is that the peak emission wavelength is
independent of the wavelength of the excitation light, assuming that it is shorter than the
wavelength of the absorption onset. The bandwidth of the emission spectra, denoted as
the Full Width at Half Maximum (FWHM) stems from the temperature, natural spectral
line width of the quantum dots, and the size distribution of the population of quantum
dots within a solution or matrix material. Spectral emission broadening due to size
distribution is known as inhomogeneous broadening and is the largest contributor to the
FWHM. Narrower size distributions yield smaller FWHM. For CdSe, a 5% size
distribution corresponds to ~ 30nm FWHM.

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Colloidally prepared quantum dots are free floating and can be attached to a variety of
molecules via metal coordinating functional groups. These groups include but are not
limited to thiol, amine, nitrile,phosphine, phosphine oxide, phosphonic acid,
carboxylicacid or others ligands. This ability greatly increases the flexibility of quantum
dots with respect to the types of environments in which they can be applied. By bonding
appropriate molecules to the surface, the quantum dots can be dispersed or dissolved
in nearly any solvent or incorporated into a variety of inorganic and organic films. In
addition, the surface chemistry can be used to effectively alter the properties of the
quantum dot, including brightness and electronic lifetime.

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In addition to emissive advantages, quantum dots display advantages in their absorptive
properties. In contrast to bulk semiconductors, which display a rather uniform absorption
spectrum, the absorption spectrum for quantum dots appears as a series of overlapping
peaks that get larger at shorter wavelengths. Owing once more to the discrete nature of
electron energy levels in quantum dots, each peak corresponds to an energy transition
between discrete electron-hole (exciton) energy levels. The quantum dots will not
absorb light that has a wavelength longer than that of the first exciton peak, also
referred to as the absorption onset. Like all other optical and electronic properties, the
wavelength of the first exciton peak (and all subsequent peaks) is a function of the
composition and size of the quantum dot. Smaller quantum dots result in a first exciton
peak at shorter wavelengths.


An immediate optical feature of colloidal quantum dots is their coloration. While the
material which makes up a quantum dot defines its intrinsic energy signature, the
nanocrystal's quantum confined size is more significant at energies near the band gap.
Thus quantum dots of the same material, but with different sizes, can emit light of
different colors. The physical reason is the quantum confinement effect. The larger the
dot, the redder (lower energy) is its fluorescence spectrum. Conversely, smaller dots
emit bluer (higher energy) light. The coloration is directly related to the energy levels of
the quantum dot. Quantitatively speaking, the band gap energy that determines the
energy (and hence color) of the fluorescent light is inversely proportional to the square
of the size of the quantum dot. Larger quantum dots have more energy levels which are
also more closely spaced. This allows the quantum dot to absorb photons containing
less energy, i.e., those closer to the red end of the spectrum. Recent Observations have
shown that the shape of the Crystal lattice also might change the color
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The percentage of absorbed photons that result in an emitted photon is called Quantum
Yield (QY). QY is controlled by the existence of nonradiative transition of electrons and
holes between energy levels transitions that produce no electromagnetic radiation.
Nonradiative recombination largely occurs at the dot's surface and is therefore greatly
influenced by the surface chemistry.

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Capping a core quantum dot with a shell (several atomic layers of an inorganic wide
band semiconductor) reduces non-radiative recombination and results in brighter
emission, provided the shell is of a different semiconductor material with a wider band
gap than the Core semiconductor material.
The higher QY of Core-Shell quantum dots comes about due to changes in the surface
chemistry of the core quantum dot. The surface of quantum dots that lack a shell has
both free (unbonded) electrons, in addition to crystal defects. Both of
these characteristics tend to reduce QY by allowing for nonradiative electron energy
transitions at the surface.
The addition of a shell reduces the opportunities for these nonradiative transitions by
giving conduction band electrons an increased probability of directly relaxing to the
valence band.
The shell also neutralizes the effects of many types of surface defects.

There are several ways to confine excitons in semiconductors, resulting in different
methods to produce quantum dots. In general, quantum wires, wells and dots are grown
by advanced epitaxial techniques in nanocrystals produced by chemical methods or by
ion implantation, or in nanodevices made by state-of-the-art lithographic techniques.

Colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals are synthesized from precursor compounds
dissolved in solutions, much like traditional chemical processes. The synthesis of
colloidal quantum dots is based on a three-component system composed of:
precursors, organic surfactants, and solvents. When heating a reaction medium to a
sufficiently high temperature, the precursors chemically transform into monomers. Once
the monomers reach a high enough supersaturation level, the nanocrystal growth starts
with a nucleation process. The temperature during the growth process is one of the
critical factors in determining optimal conditions for the nanocrystal growth. It must be
high enough to allow for rearrangement and annealing of atoms during the synthesis
process while being low enough to promote crystal growth. Another critical factor that
has to be stringently controlled during nanocrystal growth is the monomer
concentration. The growth process of nanocrystals can occur in two different regimes,
³focusing´ and ³defocusing´. At high monomer concentrations, the critical size (the size
where nanocrystals neither grow nor shrink) is relatively small, resulting in growth of
nearly all particles. In this regime, smaller particles grow faster than large ones (since
larger crystals need more atoms to grow than small crystals) resulting in ³focusing´ of
the size distribution to yield nearly monodisperse particles. The size focusing is optimal
when the monomer concentration is kept such that the average nanocrystal size present
is always slightly larger than the critical size. When the monomer concentration is
depleted during growth, the critical size becomes larger than the average size present,
and the distribution ³defocuses´ as a result of Ostwald ripening.
There are colloidal methods to produce many different semiconductors. Typical dots are
made of binary alloys such as cadmium selenide, cadmium sulfide, indium arsenide,
and indium phosphide. Although, dots may also be made from ternary alloys such as
cadmium selenide sulfide, these quantum dots can contain as few as 100 to 100,000
atoms within the quantum dot volume, with a diameter of 10 to 50 atoms. This
corresponds to about 2 to 10 nanometers, and at 10 nm in diameter, nearly 3 million
quantum dots could be lined up end to end and fit within the width of a human thumb.
Large batches of quantum dots may be synthesized via colloidal synthesis. Due to this
scalability and the convenience of benchtop conditions, colloidal synthetic methods are
promising for commercial applications. It is acknowledged to be the least toxic of all the
different forms of synthesis.

Self-assembled quantum dots are typically between 5 and 50 nm in size. Quantum dots
defined by lithographically patterned gate electrodes, or by etching on two-dimensional
electron gases in semiconductor heterostructures can have lateral dimensions
exceeding 100 nm.
Some quantum dots are small regions of one material buried in another with a larger
band gap. These can be so-called core-shell structures, e.g., with CdSe in the core and
ZnS in the shell or from special forms of silica called ormosil.
Quantum dots sometimes occur spontaneously in quantum well structures due to
monolayer fluctuations in the well's thickness.
Self-assembled quantum dots nucleate spontaneously under certain conditions during
molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) and metallorganic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE), when
a material is grown on a substrate to which it is not lattice matched. The resulting strain
produces coherently strained islands on top of a two-dimensional "wetting-layer." This
growth mode is known as Stranski±Krastanov growth. The islands can be subsequently
buried to form the quantum dot. This fabrication method has potential for applications in
quantum cryptography (i.e. single photon sources) and quantum computation. The main
limitations of this method are the cost of fabrication and the lack of control over
positioning of individual dots.
Individual quantum dots can be created from two-dimensional electron or hole gases
present in remotely doped quantum wells or semiconductor heterostructures called
lateral quantum dots. The sample surface is coated with a thin layer of resist. A lateral
pattern is then defined in the resist by electron beam lithography. This pattern can then
be transferred to the electron or hole gas by etching, or by depositing metal electrodes
(lift-off process) that allow the application of external voltages between the electron gas
and the electrodes. Such quantum dots are mainly of interest for experiments and
applications involving electron or hole transport, i.e., an electrical current.
The energy spectrum of a quantum dot can be engineered by controlling the
geometrical size, shape, and the strength of the confinement potential. Also, in contrast
to atoms, it is relatively easy to connect quantum dots by tunnel barriers to conducting
leads, which allows the application of the techniques of tunneling spectroscopy for their
The quantum dot absorption features correspond to transitions between discrete,three-
dimensional particle in a box states of the electron and the hole, both confined to the
same nanometer-size box.These discrete transitions are reminiscent of atomic spectra
and have resulted in quantum dots also being called artificial atoms.
Confinement in quantum dots can also arise from electrostatic potentials (generated by
external electrodes, doping, strain, or impurities).
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Lee et al. (2002) reported using genetically engineered M13 bacteriophage viruses to
create quantum dot biocomposite structures. As a background to this work, it has
previously been shown that genetically engineered viruses can recognize specific
semiconductor surfaces through the method of selection by combinatorial phage
display.[11] Additionally, it is known that liquid crystalline structures of wild-type viruses
(Fd, M13, and TMV) are adjustable by controlling the solution concentrations, solution
ionic strength, and the external magnetic field applied to the solutions. Consequently,
the specific recognition properties of the virus can be used to organize inorganic
nanocrystals, forming ordered arrays over the length scale defined by liquid crystal
formation. Using this information, Lee et al. (2000) were able to create self-assembled,
highly oriented, self-supporting films from a phage and ZnS precursor solution. This
system allowed them to vary both the length of bacteriophage and the type of inorganic
material through genetic modification and selection.
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Highly ordered arrays of quantum dots may also be self-assembled by electrochemical
techniques. A template is created by causing an ionic reaction at an electrolyte-metal
interface which results in the spontaneous assembly of nanostructures, including
quantum dots, onto the metal which is then used as a mask for mesa-etching these
nanostructures on a chosen substrate.
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Conventional, small-scale quantum dot manufacturing relies on a process called ³high
temperature dual injection´ which is impractical for most commercial applications that
require large quantities of quantum dots.
A reproducible method for creating larger quantities of consistent, high-quality quantum
dots involves producing nanoparticles from chemical precursors in the presence of a
molecular cluster compound under conditions whereby the integrity of the molecular
cluster is maintained and acts as a prefabricated seed template. Individual molecules of
a cluster compound act as a seed or nucleation point upon which nanoparticle growth
can be initiated. In this way, a high temperature nucleation step is not necessary to
initiate nanoparticle growth because suitable nucleation sites are already provided in the
system by the molecular clusters. A significant advantage of this method is that it is
highly scalable.

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Cadmium-free quantum dots are also called ³CFQD´. In many regions of the world there
is now a restriction or ban on the use of heavy metals in many household goods which
means that most cadmium based quantum dots are unusable for consumer-goods
For commercial viability, a range of restricted, heavy metal-free quantum dots have
been developed showing bright emissions in the visible and near infra-red region of the
spectrum and have similar optical properties to those of CdSe quantum dots.
Cadmium and other restricted heavy metals used in conventional quantum dots is of a
major concern in commercial applications. For Quantum Dots to be commercially viable
in many applications they must not contain cadmium or other restricted metal elements.

A new type of CFQD can be made from rare earth (RE) doped oxide colloidal phosphor
nanoparticles. Unlike semiconductor nanoparticles, excitation was due to UV absorption
of host material, which is same for different RE doped materials using same host.
Multiplexing applications can be thus realized. The emission depends on the type of RE,
which enables very large stokes shift and is narrower than CdSe QDs. The synthesis is
aqueous based, which eliminated issues of water solubility for biological applications.
The oxide surface might be easier for chemical functionalizion more and chemically
stable in various environments. Some reports exist concerning the use of such
phosphor nanoparticles on biological targeting and imaging.

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Quantum dot technology is one of the most promising candidates for use in solid-state
quantum computation. By applying small voltages to the leads, the flow of electrons
through the quantum dot can be controlled and thereby precise measurements of the
spin and other properties therein can be made. With several entangled quantum dots, or
qubits, plus a way of performing operations, quantum calculations and the computers
that would perform them might be possible.


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In particular, they could have a considerable impact in single molecule tracing studies,
in FRET based immunoassays, and in tracking the fate of cells in tissues.

As active sensor elements the fluorescence properties of the QDs are changed upon
reaction with the analyte. While these applications are fairly simple, they appear to be
restricted to sense just a few reactive small molecules or ions that are able to interact
directly with the QDs' surface. Moreover, the reactions are usually not highly specific,
and they also depend strongly on the surface properties of the QDs (including their

It has been predicted that the use of QDs as active element in sensors in industrial
applications will be limited. The use of QDs as passive labels in sensor applications, in
particular in FRET based assays is much more promising.

In passive label probes, selective receptor molecules such as antibodies have been
conjugated to the surface of QDs. In a first step, capture antibodies are immobilized on
a substrate to which the analyte is added. In a second step QD-labeled antibodies are
used to visualize and quantify the bound analyte. This technique allows for the design of
simple multiplexed immunoassays.

QDs will have a huge potential for cellular labeling. Here, individual molecules can be
fluorescence-labeled with QDs to trace the movement of individual membrane proteins.
Also, whole cellular structures, such as DNA, can be QD-labeled and used as a
fluorescent a a marker.

However, some problems still have to be overcome. One of them is the potential
cytotoxicity, especially of the cadmium-containing materials.

While coverage of potentially toxic particles with additional shells can seal the Cd-
containing core, in the future other QDs that do not contain cadmium and therefore are
more biocompatible will be made available, such as for example doped zinc selenide

It has been estimated that quantum dots are 20 times brighter and 100 times more
stable than traditional fluorescent reporters. For single-particle tracking, the irregular
blinking of quantum dots is a minor drawback.
The usage of quantum dots for highly sensitive cellular imaging has seen major
advances over the past decade. The improved photostability of quantum dots, for
example, allows the acquisition of many consecutive focal-plane images that can be
reconstructed into a high-resolution three-dimensional image. Another application that
takes advantage of the extraordinary photostability of quantum dot probes is the real-
time tracking of molecules and cells over extended periods of time. Antibodies,
streptavidin, peptides, nucleic acid aptamers, or small-molecule ligands can be used to
target quantum dots to specific proteins on cells.
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The technology utilizes semiconductor nanocrystals, or ³quantum dots´ ² which slow
the cooling of hot electrons to create time to grab them ² and a titanium dioxide
conductor to accomplish the task. A previous study pioneered the use of quantum dots
to slow the electrons¶ cooling. The recently documented breakthrough is significant for
its use of an inexpensive titanium dioxide ³wire.´

There are several inquiries into using quantum dots as light-emitting diodes to make
displays and other light sources, such as "QD-LED" displays, and "QD-WLED" (White
LED). In June, 2006, QD Vision announced technical success in making a proof-of-
concept quantum dot display and show a bright emission in the visible and near infra-
red region of the spectrum. Quantum dots are valued for displays, because they emit
light in very specific gaussian distributions. This can result in a display that more
accurately renders the colors that the human eye can perceive. Quantum dots also
require very little power since they are not color filtered. Additionally, since the discovery
of "white-light emitting" QD, general solid-state lighting applications appear closer than
ever. A color liquid crystal display (LCD), for example, is usually powered by a single
fluorescent lamp (or occasionally, conventional white LEDs) that is color filtered to
produce red, green, and blue pixels. Displays that intrinsically produce monochromatic
light can be more efficient, since more of the light produced reaches the eye.


Nanodot technology is a new process that has been developed over the past few years
and some believe is set to revolutionise the print market. More specifically, it will almost
certainly have a dramatic influence on the field of large format inkjet sublimation. The
process ensures optimal pigment dispersion due to a combination of reducing the
nanoparticles combined with fixing ionic polymers on the actual particles. To those of us
without a science degree, in a nutshell this ensures improved ink flow, faster drying and
better stability during the print process. However, due to the huge production investment
in the latest laser spectrometers and medical filtration systems involved in producing
nanodot inks, only one European company is currently producing them.

Originally developed in Italy, many countries such as Australia and Germany have
started to use the nanodot technology with great success. This significant new
technology was introduced in the Italian sportswear and garment manufacturing sector
last summer, causing an unprecedented wave of production houses to change inks. At
the same time, some major German flag makers began using this new ink technology
and saw impressive results. The flag manufacturing industry is notorious for its highly
competitive price structure, so when one company starts using a new form of
technology to improve results and cut production costs, its competitors are keen to find
out what's going on. Thus far, the UK has been slow off the mark in making use of this
new technology - but that is set to change later in 2008.

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As with many great innovations, the theory behind Nano Pigmentation Technology
(NPT) is relatively simple. "With NPT sublimation ink, the dye particles are ground to
sub micron size and ionically fixed," "The combination of minute sizing and the fixing
process reduces friction as the inks pass through the printing heads, yielding a more
even dispersement within the ink fluid itself. This more even dispersement allows a
denser concentration of dye to be used and less water is needed to reach the optimum
viscosity for peizo heads."
With versatility an important part of the printing process, various NPT inks have been
developed for use on a range of different sublimation applications. When transfer
printing, the lower water/dye ratio has the advantage of less paper cockling - and even
offers the possibility of using a more cost effective, lighter 100g paper.
Companies using the inks when working with direct to textile printing have reported that
the NPT inks bleed less and show higher colour values resulting in a higher quality print.
Add to this the advantages of a faster drying and pressing times reducing production
times further - and as we all know, time is money, whatever marketplace your
organisation operates in.
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During the development and testing phase, creators experimented with direct printing to
coated and some uncoated textiles - resulting in a faster and more reliable result, in
many cases. "Tests revealed that, no matter how the print was produced, if NPT inks
were used with a good ICC profile, significantly less ink was used, due to the high dye
density," "Combined with the drop in downtime caused by fewer head clogs and with
less heat build up at the head prolonging the life of the print head itself, users have
reported a potentially huge impact on reducing production costs."

It also claims improved ink stability during transport and storage, ensuring superior
batch quality and consistent results for the user. Increased ease and speed of ink
production at J-Tecks Como, Italy production plant, using new high tech ink processing
equipment ensures faster ink production times. "As a company we have invested a lot of
time and money in the technology to fully develop and test our product before we
released it on to the market," comments J-Teck's President Dr. Gianni Cavallini. "Our
stringent quality control procedures and faster production have enabled us to produce
several different ink types and colours which cover specialist sublimation techniques.
Tests show that they have an industry beating wash fastness and weatherability."

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Printing, perhaps more than many industries, is keen to embrace a new technology if a
competitive advantage can be gained. If it enables us to do things faster, better , more
cheaply and still stay reliable it is surely an innovation worth having. Only time will tell
whether this is the start of a genuine revolution in the type of sublimation ink] that
becomes the industry standard, but if the early results across other European countries
are typical, Nantodot Pigment Technology is likely to here making an impact for the
foreseeable future.

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Initial studies of polymer dyeing with quantum dots have involved brightly colored (but
non-emissive) metal nanoparticles coated with low refractive index hydrogel layers.
While such materials bear little relation to polymers used in the textile industry, they
have many advantageous properties in terms of ease of synthesis, tunability, and
optical characterization. The specific system studied is that of 12-nm diameter Au
particles coated with a thick (~80 nm) layer of poly-N-isopropylacrylamide (p-NIPAm) to
yield a monodisperse (<15% polydispersity) sol of polymer-clad Au particles. In
aqueous media, p-NIPAm displays a temperature-dependent degree of solvation which
can be used to thermally tune the refractive index of the cladding (Scheme I).
In this fashion, we can elucidate the optical properties of many different dielectric/metal
composites from a single colloidal sol. Furthermore, we can easily control the number of
Au particles per dielectric sphere, thereby allowing easy interrogation of ³particle dye´
concentration effects.
Figure 1 shows representative UV-Visible extinction spectra for bare Au particles, and
polymer particles with two different Au concentrations (25-fold difference). It should be
stated that all Au particles are associated with a polymer sphere; no free Au exists
following polymerization. A number of key features in these spectra should be noted.
First, the bare Au particles display the typical plasmon absorption band at about 520
nm; a solution of these particles is a deep burgundy color. The dielectric-coated
particles, however, have a broad scattering background that largely obscures the Au
plasmon absorption. Indeed, at the low Au concentration, the band is completely
invisible. These spectra do not accurately reflect the visual appearance of the samples,
however. The low Au concentration sample is a pinkish material, while the higher
concentration yields an almost purple polymer solution. The combination of light
transmission, reflection, and diffuse scattering yield samples have very different visual
qualities. The ""c "c
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The use of periodic dielectric structures, specifically colloidal crystals, for use in
diffractive (non-chromophore based) textile colorant applications is also being studied.
Colloidal crystals or artificial opals are now widely used in the fabrication of photonic
materials for a variety of applications, largely because of the relative ease with which
such structures can be assembled. Furthermore, the ability to tune the color of reflected
light is easily accomplished by either changing the particle size, spacing, or in the case
of the hydrogel colloidal crystals developed in the Lyon group, by changing the
compression of deformable particles.
The building blocks for these soft colloidal crystals are microgels composed of the
thermoresponsive polymer poly-N-isopropylacrylamide (pNIPAm) crosslinked with N,N¶-
methylenebisacrylamide. Monodisperse, spherical particles were prepared by
precipitation polymerization in aqueous media as described previously.

Using this method, the resultant particle size can be continuously varied from ~50-nm to
1-ȝm diameter by controlling the surfactant and initiator concentrations.

For typical crosslinking densities of 2 mol-%, the resultant microgels undergo an ~15-
fold decrease in volume due to water expulsion at the volume phase transition
temperature (32 °C). The assembly of close-packed colloidal crystals takes place via a
simple multistep process in which the thermoresponsivity of the component
nanoparticles is exploited to obtain ordering. Initially, a solution of hydrogel
nanoparticles is concentrated via centrifugation at a temperature below the phase
transition temperature (25 °C). This produces a polymer mass at the bottom of the tube
that is optically transparent with a faint blue, green or red opalescence, where the
specific color properties depend on the initial particle concentration, centrifugation time,
particle size, and centrifugation speed. The volume phase transition can then be used to
anneal defects out of the crystal or to make a processable photonic material. Above the
volume phase transition, the material is a low viscosity fluid, as the particles occupy a
low volume fraction of the material. However, when lowering the temperature swells the
particles, the viscosity increases dramatically, thereby ³locking´ the material in place.
Post treatment such as photocrosslinking can then be used to create a temperature
stable and permanent color element.

A typical image (obtained by differential interference contrast microscopy) of a hydrogel

colloidal crystal is shown in Figure 2.

This image illustrates that the crystal is composed of a highly ordered, close-packed
arrangement of spherical hydrogel particles. Since the component particles are soft and
hydrated, the lattice spacing can be manipulated by changing the water content of the
This effect is illustrated in Figure 3.

Here a single particle size has been used to create crystals of three distinct colors.
Using this technique, we have demonstrated the ability to tune the color of a crystal over
>150 nm. Furthermore, these materials display brilliant opalescence when the angle of
observation is changed, thereby providing opportunities for even greater control over
the color properties.
Studies in the context of fiber coating and fiber filling for colorant applications are being
done. For example, hollow core fibers will be filled by capillary action when the crystals
are in their fluid form, followed by cooling to the viscous form. We will then study the
color properties of these fibers as a function of internal core diameter, original crystal
color, fiber conformation (to study angle dependent opalescence), and fiber refractive
index. In parallel, we will investigate the coating of solid fibers with both standard and
complex shapes, to investigate the color dispersion properties in the presence of
diffractive, wavelength selecting coatings. Together, these studies will allow for a better
understanding of how diffractive colorants can be used to impart non-chromophoric
optical properties to textile fibers.
Fibers have been made which have photoluminescent particles and the optical
properties of such fibers have been studied. The fibers and the photoluminescent
particles were obtained from Score Technologies. A typical emission spectra is shown
in Figure 4 obtained using a microspectrometer. The fiber emits in the green-yellow part
of the visible spectrum.

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Cotton, wool, acrylic and nylon fabrics can be directly dyed by using surface modified
carbon black (CB), self-dispersible carbon black (SDCB), nanoparticles through an
exhaustion process. The SDCB nanoparticles were prepared by refluxing CB particles
in nitric acid for certain time to result in hydrophilic carboxylic groups on their surfaces.
The SDCB nanoparticles behaved similarly to direct or acid dyes in dyeing cotton,
acrylic and nylon fibers. The SDCB nanoparticles were characterized by infrared
spectroscopy and particle size analyzer. The SDCB-dyed fabrics showed good
colorfastness against crocking. However, the wash fastness of the nanoparticle-dyed
cotton fabrics is relatively lower than the crocking fastness due to the hydrophilic feature
of the SDCB nanoparticles.

Property Organic dye QDa

Steady increase toward UV

wavelengths starting from
Absorption Discrete bands, FWHMb 35 nmc
absorption onset; enables
spectra to 80±100 nmd
free selection of excitation

105±106 M-1 cm-1 at first

exitonic absorption peak,
2.5 104±2.5 105 M-1 cm-1 (at
Molar absorption increasing toward UV
long-wavelength absorption
coefficient wavelengths; larger (longer
wavelength) QDs generally
have higher absorption

Asymmetric, often tailing to long-

Symmetric, Gaussian profile;
Emission spectra wavelength side; FWHM, 35 nmc
FWHM, 30±90 nm
to 70±100 nmd

Normally <50 nmc, up to >150 Typically <50 nm for visible

Stokes shift
nmd wavelength±emitting QDs
0.5±1.0 (visiblee), 0.05±0.25 0.1±0.8 (visible), 0.2±0.7
Quantum yield
(NIRe) (NIR)

Fluorescence 10±100 ns, typically multi-

1±10 ns, mono-exponential decay
lifetimes exponential decay

1 10-52±5 10-48 cm4 s photon-

Two-photon action 2 10-47±4.7 10-46 cm4 s
1 (typically about 1 10-49 cm4 s
cross-section photon-1

Solubility or Control via surface chemistry

Control by substitution pattern
dispersibility (ligands)

Via functional groups following

Via ligand chemistry; few
established protocols Often
protocols available Several
several dyes bind to a single
Binding to biomolecules bind to a single
biomolecule Labeling-induced
biomolecules QD Very little information
effects on spectroscopic
available on labeling-induced
properties of reporter studied for
many common dyes

6±60 nm (hydrodynamic
Size 0.5 nm; molecule
diameter); colloid

Dependent on dye class; can be High; depends on shell or

Thermal stability
critical for NIR-wavelength dyes ligands

Sufficient for many applications High (visible and NIR

(visible wavelength), but can be wavelengths); orders of
insufficient for high-light flux magnitude higher than that of
applications; often problematic for organic dyes; can reveal
NIR-wavelength dyes photobrightening

Little known yet (heavy metal

From very low to high; dependent
Toxicity leakage must be prevented,
on dye
potential nanotoxicity)
Reproducibility of Good, owing to defined molecular Limited by complex structure
labels (optical, structure and established methods and surface chemistry; limited
chemical of characterization; available from data available; few
properties) commercial sources commercial systems available

Applicability to
Moderate; limited by
single-molecule Good; limited by blinking

Few examples; single-donor±

Well-described FRET pairs; multiple-acceptor
mostly single-donor± single- configurations possible;
acceptor configurations; enables limitation of FRET efficiency
optimization of reporter properties due to nanometer size of QD

Possible, 3 colors (MegaStokes Ideal for multi-color

dyes), 4 colors (energy-transfer experiments; up to 5 colors
cassettes) demonstrated

Lifetime discrimination
Lifetime between QDs not yet shown;
multiplexing possible between QDs and
organic dyes

Unsuitable for many enzyme-

Signal based techniques, other
Established techniques
amplification techniques remain to be
adapted and/or established




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Hence it can be concluded that quantum dots to be used as textile dyes offer immense
potential. If successful, the breakthrough can contribute greatly to reduce the pollution
caused by the textile industry and help in a sustainable development.

National textile report -C00-G03

Cientifica quantum dots ±technology white papers

Coloration of textiles with self-dispersible carbon black nanoparticles by Dapeng Li1,

Gang Sun*