Photoluminescence Stability of Colloidal CdTe Quantum Dots in Various Buffer Solutions

Research paper by Aiyu Zhang, Ning Liu, Yongqiang Cao, Ruixia Shi, Jianrong Wang, Yuanna Zhu, Ping Yang

Indexed on: 03 Feb '13Published on: 03 Feb '13Published in: Journal of Cluster Science


Mercaptoacetic acid-capped CdTe quantum dots (QDs) are potential luminescent markers for biological analysis. The photoluminescence (PL) stability of the QDs in buffer solutions determines their practicability as markers in electrophoresis. The stability of the QDs was thus investigated in electrophoresis buffers including tris–borate–ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (TBE) and tris–acetate–ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (TAE). The QDs were completely unstable in high-concentrated buffers (≥0.1×). In the case of low concentrations (≤0.07× for TAE, ≤0.035× for TBE), the PL intensity of the QDs in two kinds of buffers decreased with increasing buffer concentrations. A red-shifted PL peak wavelength and PL intensity fluctuation were observed after dispersing the QDs in diluted TAE buffer solutions with concentrations of ≤0.07× for long time. According to the Stern–Volmer plots of PL degradation, the factors leading to the degradation were complicated, which was attributed to the actions of the components including tris, borate or acetic acid, and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid as well as their mutual effects.