Publications

2022
Einav Scharf, Franziska Krieg, Orian Elimelech, Meirav Oded, Adar Levi, Dmitry N. Dirin, Maksym V. Kovalenko, and Uri Banin. 5/23/2022. “Ligands Mediate Anion Exchange between Colloidal Lead-Halide Perovskite Nanocrystals.” Nano Letters, 22, 11, Pp. 4340 - 4346. Publisher's Version Abstract

The soft lattice of lead-halide perovskite nanocrystals (NCs) allows tuning their optoelectronic characteristics via anion exchange by introducing halide salts to a solution of perovskite NCEinav2022s. Similarly, cross-anion exchange can occur upon mixing NCs of different perovskite halides. This process, though, is detrimental for applications requiring perovskite NCs with different halides in close proximity. We study the effects of various stabilizing surface ligands on the kinetics of the cross-anion exchange reaction, comparing zwitterionic and ionic ligands. The kinetic analysis, inspired by the “cage effect” for solution reactions, showcases a mechanism where the surface capping ligands act as anion carriers that diffuse to the NC surface, forming an encounter pair enclosed by the surrounding ligands that initiates the anion exchange process. The zwitterionic ligands considerably slow down the cross-anion exchange process, and while they do not fully inhibit it, they confer improved stability alongside enhanced solubility relevant for various applications.

Yossef E. Panfil, Jiabin Cui, Somnath Koley, and Uri Banin. 3/15/2022. “Complete Mapping of Interacting Charging States in Single Coupled Colloidal Quantum Dot Molecules.” ACS NanoACS Nano, 16, 4, Pp. 5566 - 5576. Publisher's Version Abstract

Colloidal quantum dots (CQDs), major building blocks in modern optoelectronic devices, have so far been synthesized with only one emission center where the exciton resides. Recent development of coupled colloidal quantum dots molecules (CQDM), where two core–shell CQDs are fused to form two emission centers in close proximity, allows exploration of how charge carriers in one CQD affect the charge carriers in the other CQD. Yossi_2022Cryogenic single particle spectroscopy reveals that while CQD monomers manifest a simple emission spectrum comprising a main emission peak with well-defined phonon sidebands, CQDMs exhibit a complex spectrum with multiple peaks that are not all spaced according to the known phonon frequencies. Based on complementary emission polarization and time-resolved analysis, this is assigned to fluorescence of the two coupled emission centers. Moreover, the complex peak structure shows correlated spectral diffusion indicative of the coupling between the two emission centers. Utilizing Schrödinger-Poisson self-consistent calculations, we directly map the spectral behavior, alternating between neutral and charged states of the CQDM. Spectral shifts related to electrostatic interaction between a charged emission center and the second emission center are thus fully mapped. Furthermore, effects of moving surface charges are identified, whereby the emission center proximal to the charge shows larger shifts. Instances where the two emission centers are negatively charged simultaneously are also identified. Such detailed mapping of charging states is enabled by the coupling within the CQDM and its anisotropic structure. This understanding of the coupling interactions is progress toward quantum technology and sensing applications based on CQDMs.

Orian Elimelech, Omer Aviv, Meirav Oded, Xiaogang Peng, Daniel Harries, and Uri Banin. 2/14/2022. “Entropy of Branching Out: Linear versus Branched Alkylthiols Ligands on CdSe Nanocrystals.” ACS Nano, In press, Pp. DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.1c10430. Publisher's Version Abstract

Surface ligands of semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs) play key roles in determining their colloidal stability and physicochemical properties and are thus enablers also for the NCs flexible manipulation toward numerous applications. Orian_2022Attention is usually paid to the ligand binding group, while the impact of the ligand chain backbone structure is less discussed. Using isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), we studied the effect of structural changes in the ligand chain on the thermodynamics of the exchange reaction for oleate coated CdSe NCs, comparing linear and branched alkylthiols. The investigated alkylthiol ligands differed in their backbone length, branching position, and branching group length. Compared to linear ligands, lower exothermicity and entropy loss were observed for an exchange with branched ligands, due to steric hindrance in ligand packing, thereby justifying their previous classification as “entropic ligands”. Mean-field calculations for ligand binding demonstrate the contribution to the overall entropy originating from ligand conformational entropy, which is diminished upon binding mainly by packing of NC-bound ligands. Model calculations and the experimental ITC data both point to an interplay between the branching position and the backbone length in determining the entropic nature of the branched ligand. Our findings suggest that the most entropic ligand should be a short, branched ligand with short branching group located toward the middle of the ligand chain. The insights provided by this work also contribute to a future smarter NC surface design, which is an essential tool for their implementation in diverse applications.

Tal Cohen, Nir Waiskopf, Adar Levi, David Stone, Sergei Remennik, and Uri Banin. 1/17/2022. “Flow synthesis of photocatalytic semiconductor–metal hybrid nanocrystals.” Nanoscale, 14, 5, Pp. 1944 - 1953. Publisher's Version Abstract

Semiconductor–metal hybrid nanostructures are promising materials for photocatalytic applications, providing high efficiencies compared to their composing counterparts. So far, the synthesis of such hybrid nanoparticles was limited to batch reactors, achieving tunability while demonstrating how each of the nanocrystals’ characteristics affects photocatalytic performances. Flow synthesis of photocatalytic semiconductor–metal hybrid nanocrystals Yet, new methodologies should be established to increase the synthetic yield while maintaining high control over the resulting structures. Herein, scalable advanced flow techniques are introduced, yielding ZnSe–metal hybrid nanoparticles either in a thermal growth or photo-induced growth regime. Firstly, thermal gold growth in the flow reactor is achieved with good control over the metal tip size and the nanoparticle morphology. We address the dependence of the reaction on temperature, the precursor to nanorod molar ratios, and additional parameters. Additionally, light-induced growth by the flow reactor is demonstrated for platinum clusters. The quality of the resulting hybrids is directly demonstrated by their functionality in photocatalytic hydrogen generation by water reduction, displaying enhanced activity compared to bare ZnSe nanorods. The fairly straightforward adaptation of such powerful flow-reaction techniques to scale-up photocatalytic hybrid nanoparticle syntheses takes them one step forwards towards the realization of their potential in real-life application scenarios.

2021
Adar Levi, Lior Verbitsky, Nir Waiskopf, and Uri Banin. 12/29/2021. “Sulfide Ligands in Hybrid Semiconductor–Metal Nanocrystal Photocatalysts: Improved Hole Extraction and Altered Catalysis.” ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, In Press, Pp. DOI:10.1021/acsami.1c17304. Publisher's Version Abstract

Hybrid semiconductor–metal nanocrystals manifest efficient photocatalytic activity related to the metal domain promoting charge carrier separation and providing an active catalytic site. The surface properties of such nanoparticles are also of paramount importance in determining their photocatalytic activity. Addressing the combination of surface effects in catalysis on metals, with the electronic properties of hybrid nanoparticles, we examined the effect of coating CdS–Au hybrid nanoparticles with sulfide, an anion that is expected to bind strongly to both domains, on the photocatalytic functionality.AMI2021 Upon sulfide coating, one-electron processes – namely the oxidative production of hydroxyl radicals and the reductive production of superoxide – were increased, whereas the activity for two-electron reduction processes – H2 and hydrogen peroxide generation – was hampered. These findings indicate a double-edged sword effect for sulfide coating that on one side relieves the hole extraction bottleneck from the semiconductor segment and, on the other hand, poisons the metal domain restricting its reductive capacity for the two-electron processes requiring a chemisorption step on the metal surface. The work further demonstrates the importance of surface properties for the photocatalytic action of such hybrid nanoparticle systems.Hybrid semiconductor–metal nanocrystals manifest efficient photocatalytic activity related to the metal domain promoting charge carrier separation and providing an active catalytic site. The surface properties of such nanoparticles are also of paramount importance in determining their photocatalytic activity. Addressing the combination of surface effects in catalysis on metals, with the electronic properties of hybrid nanoparticles, we examined the effect of coating CdS–Au hybrid nanoparticles with sulfide, an anion that is expected to bind strongly to both domains, on the photocatalytic functionality. Upon sulfide coating, one-electron processes – namely the oxidative production of hydroxyl radicals and the reductive production of superoxide – were increased, whereas the activity for two-electron reduction processes – H2 and hydrogen peroxide generation – was hampered. These findings indicate a double-edged sword effect for sulfide coating that on one side relieves the hole extraction bottleneck from the semiconductor segment and, on the other hand, poisons the metal domain restricting its reductive capacity for the two-electron processes requiring a chemisorption step on the metal surface. The work further demonstrates the importance of surface properties for the photocatalytic action of such hybrid nanoparticle systems.

David Stone, Somnath Koley, Sergei Remennik, Lior Asor, Yossef E. Panfil, Tom Naor, and Uri Banin. 11/2021. “Luminescent Anisotropic Wurtzite InP Nanocrystals.” Nano Letters, 21, 23, Pp. 10032–10039. Publisher's Version Abstract

Indium phosphide (InP) nanocrystals are emerging as an alternative to heavy metal containing nanocrystals for optoelectronic applications but lag behind in terms of synthetic control. Herein, luminescent wurtzite InP nanocrystals with narrow size distribution were synthesized via a cation exchange reaction from hexagonal Cu3P nanocrystals. A comprehensive surface treatment with NOBF4 was performed, which removes excess copper while generating stoichiometric In/P nanocrystals with fluoride surface passivation. NL_2021The attained InP nanocrystals manifest a highly resolved absorption spectrum with a narrow emission line of 80 meV, and photoluminescence quantum yield of up to 40%. Optical anisotropy measurements on ensemble and single particle bases show the occurrence of polarized transitions directly mirroring the anisotropic wurtzite lattice, as also manifested from modeling of the quantum confined electronic levels. This shows a green synthesis path for achieving wurtzite InP nanocrystals with desired optoelectronic properties including color purity and light polarization with potential for diverse optoelectronic applications.Indium phosphide (InP) nanocrystals are emerging as an alternative to heavy metal containing nanocrystals for optoelectronic applications but lag behind in terms of synthetic control. Herein, luminescent wurtzite InP nanocrystals with narrow size distribution were synthesized via a cation exchange reaction from hexagonal Cu3P nanocrystals. A comprehensive surface treatment with NOBF4 was performed, which removes excess copper while generating stoichiometric In/P nanocrystals with fluoride surface passivation. The attained InP nanocrystals manifest a highly resolved absorption spectrum with a narrow emission line of 80 meV, and photoluminescence quantum yield of up to 40%. Optical anisotropy measurements on ensemble and single particle bases show the occurrence of polarized transitions directly mirroring the anisotropic wurtzite lattice, as also manifested from modeling of the quantum confined electronic levels. This shows a green synthesis path for achieving wurtzite InP nanocrystals with desired optoelectronic properties including color purity and light polarization with potential for diverse optoelectronic applications.

Jiabin Cui, Somnath Koley, Yossef E. Panfil, Adar Levi, Yonatan Ossia, Nir Waiskopf, Sergei Remennik, Meirav Oded, and Uri Banin. 11/2021. “Neck Barrier Engineering in Quantum Dot Dimer Molecules via Intraparticle Ripening.” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 143, 47, Pp. 19816–19823. Publisher's Version Abstract

Coupled colloidal quantum dot (CQD) dimers represent a new class of artificial molecules composed of fused core/shell semiconductor nanocrystals. The electronic coupling and wave function hybridization are enabled by the formation of an epitaxial connection with a coherent lattice between the shells of the two neighboring quantum dots where the shell material and its dimensions dictate the quantum barrier characteristics for the charge carriers.jacs_2021 Herein we introduce a colloidal approach to control the neck formation at the interface between the two CQDs in such artificial molecular constructs. This allows the tailoring of the neck barrier in prelinked homodimers formed via fusion of multifaceted wurtzite CdSe/CdS CQDs. The effects of reaction time, temperature, and excess ligands are studied. The neck filling process follows an intraparticle ripening mechanism at relatively mild reaction conditions while avoiding interparticle ripening. The degree of surface ligand passivation plays a key role in activating the surface atom diffusion to the neck region. The degree of neck filling strongly depends also on the initial relative orientation of the two CQDs, where homonymous plane attachment allows for facile neck growth, unlike the case of heteronymous plane attachment. Upon neck filling, the observed red-shift of the absorption and fluorescence measured both for ensemble and single dimers is assigned to enhanced hybridization of the confined wave function in CQD dimer molecules, as supported by quantum calculations. The fine-tuning of the particle interface introduced herein provides therefore a powerful tool to further control the extent of hybridization and coupling in CQD molecules.Coupled colloidal quantum dot (CQD) dimers represent a new class of artificial molecules composed of fused core/shell semiconductor nanocrystals. The electronic coupling and wave function hybridization are enabled by the formation of an epitaxial connection with a coherent lattice between the shells of the two neighboring quantum dots where the shell material and its dimensions dictate the quantum barrier characteristics for the charge carriers. Herein we introduce a colloidal approach to control the neck formation at the interface between the two CQDs in such artificial molecular constructs. This allows the tailoring of the neck barrier in prelinked homodimers formed via fusion of multifaceted wurtzite CdSe/CdS CQDs. The effects of reaction time, temperature, and excess ligands are studied. The neck filling process follows an intraparticle ripening mechanism at relatively mild reaction conditions while avoiding interparticle ripening. The degree of surface ligand passivation plays a key role in activating the surface atom diffusion to the neck region. The degree of neck filling strongly depends also on the initial relative orientation of the two CQDs, where homonymous plane attachment allows for facile neck growth, unlike the case of heteronymous plane attachment. Upon neck filling, the observed red-shift of the absorption and fluorescence measured both for ensemble and single dimers is assigned to enhanced hybridization of the confined wave function in CQD dimer molecules, as supported by quantum calculations. The fine-tuning of the particle interface introduced herein provides therefore a powerful tool to further control the extent of hybridization and coupling in CQD molecules.

Yoav Ninio, Nir Waiskopf, Idan Meirzada, Yoav Romach, Galya Haim, Shira Yochelis, Uri Banin, and Nir Bar-Gill. 7/19/2021. “High-Sensitivity, High-Resolution Detection of Reactive Oxygen Species Concentration Using NV Centers.” ACS Photonics, 8, 7, Pp. 1917–1921. Publisher's Version Abstract

ACSPhoto_2021Nitrogen-vacancy (NV) color centers in diamond have been demonstrated as useful magnetic sensors, in particular for measuring spin fluctuations and achieving high sensitivity and spatial resolution. These abilities can be used to explore various biological and chemical processes, catalyzed by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Here we demonstrate a novel approach to measure and quantify hydroxyl radicals with high spatial resolution, using the fluorescence difference between NV charged states. According to the results, the achieved NV sensitivity is , realized in situ without spin labels and localized to a volume of ∼10 picoliters.

Alex Pinkas, Nir Waiskopf, Shira Gigi, Tom Naor, Almog Layani, and Uri Banin. 6/1/2021. “Morphology Effect on Zinc Oxide Quantum Photoinitiators for Radical Polymerization.” Nanoscale, 13, Pp. 7152-7160. Publisher's Version Abstract
 d1nr00896j-f1.tifSemiconductor nanocrystal based photoinitiators, quantum PIs, are a viable alternative to organic photoinitiators demonstrating unique advantages, including a broad and tunable excitation window, limited migration, and more. Aiming towards efficient quantum PIs with tunable properties, a deeper understanding of the relationships between the nanoparticle properties and their efficiency is required. Herein, we studied the morphological effect on ZnO nanocrystals functioning as photoinitiators in both water-based and solvent-free formulations by comparing rod and pyramidal shaped particles of similar volumes and nearly identical surface area.  Superior polymerization performances are measured for the nanorods. Photocatalytic characterization including oxygen consumption and reactive oxygen species formation as well as dyes reduction and oxidation, also showed enhanced activities for the nanorods. The different performances were attributed to the anisotropic nanorod morphology which is beneficial for charge separation as well as to the presence of a reactive [0001] facet in the nanorods, which is known to increase the adsorption of molecular oxygen and anionic molecules, thus affecting the catalytic activity. These observations, along with the higher photoinitiation efficiency of the ZnO nanorods, bring them closer to functionality as photoinitiators in numerous photopolymerization applications.

 

Jiabin Cui, Somnath Koley, Yossef E Panfil, Adar Levi, Nir Waiskopf, Sergei Remennik, Meirav Oded, and Uri Banin. 4/3/2021. “Semiconductor Bowtie Nanoantenna from Coupled Colloidal Quantum Dot Molecules.” Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 60, Pp. 2-8. Publisher's Version Abstract
TOC_angewTop-down fabricated nanoantenna architectures of both metallic and dielectric materials show powerful functionalities for Raman and fluorescence enhancement with relevance to single molecule sensing while inducing directionality of chromophore emission with implications for single photon sources. We synthesize the smallest bow-tie nanoantenna by selective tip-to-tip fusion of two tetrahedral colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) forming a dimer. While the tetrahedral monomers emit non-polarized light, the bow-tie architecture manifests nanoantenna functionality of enhanced emission polarization along the bow-tie axis, as predicted theoretically and revealed by single-particle spectroscopy.  Theory also predicts the formation of an electric-field hotspot at the bow-tie epicenter. This is utilized for selective light-induced photocatalytic metal growth at that location, unlike growth on the free tips in dark conditions, thus demonstrating bow-tie dimer functionality as a photochemical reaction center.

 

Franco VA Camargo, Yuval Ben-Shahar, Tetsuhiko Nagahara, Yossef E Panfil, Mattia Russo, Uri Banin, and Giulio Cerullo. 1/20/2021. “Visualizing Ultrafast Electron Transfer Processes in Semiconductor–Metal Hybrid Nanoparticles: Toward Excitonic–Plasmonic Light Harvesting.” Nano Letters, 21, 3, Pp. 1461–1468. Publisher's Version Abstract
nl2021"Recently, it was demonstrated that charge separation in hybrid metal–semiconductor nanoparticles (HNPs) can be obtained following photoexcitation of either the semiconductor or of the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) of the metal. This suggests the intriguing possibility of photocatalytic systems benefiting from both plasmon and exciton excitation, the main challenge being to outcompete other ultrafast relaxation processes. Here we study CdSe-Au HNPs using ultrafast spectroscopy with high temporal resolution. We describe the complete pathways of electron transfer for both semiconductor and LSPR excitation. In the former, we distinguish hot and band gap electron transfer processes in the first few hundred fs. Excitation of the LSPR reveals an ultrafast (<30 fs) electron transfer to CdSe, followed by back-transfer from the semiconductor to the metal within 210 fs. This study establishes the requirements for utilization of the combined excitonic–plasmonic contribution in HNPs for diverse photocatalytic applications."

 

Somnath Koley, Jiabin Cui, Yossef E Panfil, and Uri Banin. 1/5/2021. “Coupled Colloidal Quantum Dot Molecules.” Accounts of Chemical Research, 54, 5, Pp. 1178-1188. Publisher's Version Abstract

"Electronic coupling and hence hybridization of atoms  serves as the bas is for the rich properties for the endless library of naturally occurring molecules. Colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) manifesting quantum strong confinement possess atomic-like characteristics with s and p electronic levels, which popularized the notion of CQDs as artificial atoms. Continuing this analogyACR_2021, when two atoms are close enough to form a molecule so that their orbitals start overlapping, the orbitals energies start to split into bonding and antibonding states made out of hybridized orbitals. The same concept is also applicable for two fused core–shell nanocrystals in close proximity. Their band edge states, which dictate the emitted photon energy, start to hybridize, changing their electronic and optical properties. Thus, an exciting direction of “artificial molecules” emerges, leading to a multitude of possibilities for creating a library of new hybrid nanostructures with novel optoelectronic properties with relevance toward diverse applications including quantum technologies.

The controlled separation and the barrier height between two adjacent quantum dots are key variables for dictating the magnitude of the coupling energy of the confined wave functions. In the past, coupled double quantum dot architectures prepared by molecular beam epitaxy revealed a coupling energy of few millielectron volts, which limits the applications to mostly cryogenic operation. The realization of artificial quantum molecules with sufficient coupling energy detectable at room temperature calls for the use of colloidal semiconductor nanocrystal building blocks. Moreover, the tunable surface chemistry widely opens the predesigned attachment strategies as well as the solution processing ability of the prepared artificial molecules, making the colloidal nanocrystals as an ideal candidate for this purpose. Despite several approaches that demonstrated enabling of the coupled structures, a general and reproducible method applicable to a broad range of colloidal quantum materials is needed for systematic tailoring of the coupling strength based on a dictated barrier.

This Account addresses the development of nanocrystal chemistry to create coupled colloidal quantum dot molecules and to study the controlled electronic coupling and their emergent properties. The simplest nanocrystal molecule, a homodimer formed from two core/shell nanocrystal monomers, in analogy to homonuclear diatomic molecules, serves as a model system. The shell material of the two CQDs is structurally fused, resulting in a continuous crystal. This lowers the potential energy barrier, enabling the hybridization of the electronic wave functions. The direct manifestation of the hybridization reflects on the band edge transition shifting toward lower energy and is clearly resolved at room temperature. The hybridization energy within the single homodimer molecule is strongly correlated with the extent of structural continuity, the delocalization of the exciton wave function, and the barrier thickness as calculated numerically. The hybridization impacts the emitted photon statistics manifesting faster radiative decay rate, photon bunching effect, and modified Auger recombination pathway compared to the monomer artificial atoms. Future perspectives for the nanocrystals chemistry paradigm are also highlighted."

 

2020
Botao Ji, Eran Rabani, Alexander L Efros, Roman Vaxenburg, Or Ashkenazi, Doron Azulay, Uri Banin, and Oded Millo. 2020. “Dielectric Confinement and Excitonic Effects in Two-Dimensional Nanoplatelets.” ACS nano. Publisher's Version Abstract

"Quasi-two-dimensional (2D) Semiconductor Nanoplatelets manifest strong quantum confinement with exceptional optical characteristics of narrow photoluminescence peaks with energies tunable by thickness with monolayer precision.  We employed scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS) in conjunction with optical measurements to probe the thickness-dependent band gap and density of excited states in a series of CdSe nanoplatelets.botao_acsnano_2020 The tunneling spectra, measured in the double-barrier tunnel junction configuration, reveal the effect of quantum confinement on the band gap taking place mainly through a blue-shift of the conduction band edge, along with a signature of 2D electronic structure intermixed with finite lateral-size and/or defects effects. The STS fundamental band gaps are larger than the optical gaps as expected from the contributions of exciton binding in the absorption, as confirmed by theoretical calculations. The calculations also point to strong valence band mixing between the light- and split-off hole levels. Strikingly, the energy difference between the heavy-hole and light-hole levels in the tunneling spectra are significantly larger than the corresponding values extracted from the absorption spectra. Possible explanations for this, including an interplay of nanoplatelet charging, dielectric confinement, and difference in exciton binding energy for light and heavy holes, are analyzed and discussed."

Lior Asor, Jing Liu, Yonatan Ossia, Durgesh C. Tripathi, Nir Tessler, Anatoly. I. Frenkel, and Uri Banin. 2020. “InAs Nanocrystals with Robust p-Type Doping.” Adv. Funct. Mater., 31, Pp. 2007456 (1-12). Publisher's Version Abstract
lior_AFM_2020"Robust Control Over the Carrier Type is fundamental for the fabrication of nanocrystal-based optoelectronic devices, such as the p–n homojunction, but effective incorporation of impurities in semiconductor nanocrystals and its characterization is highly challenging due to their small size. Herein, InAs nanocrystals, post-synthetically doped with Cd, serve as a model system for successful p-type doping of originally n-type InAs nanocrystals, as demonstrated in field effect transistors (FETs).   Advanced structural analysis, using atomic resolution electron microscopy and synchrotron X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy reveal that Cd impurities reside near and on the nanocrystal surface acting as substitutional p-dopants replacing Indium. Commensurately, Cd-doped InAs FETs exhibit remarkable stability of their hole conduction, mobility, and hysteretic behavior over time when exposed to air, while intrinsic InAs NCs FETs are easily oxidized and their performance quickly declined. Therefore, Cd plays a dual role acting as a p-type dopant, and also protects the nanocrystals from oxidation, as evidenced directly by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements of air exposed samples of intrinsic and Cd-doped InAs NCs films. This study demonstrates robust p-type doping of InAs nanocrystals, setting the stage for implementation of such doped nanocrystal systems in printed electronic devices."

 

Yossef E. Panfil, Meirav Oded, Nir Waiskopf, and Uri Banin. 2020. “Material Challenges for Colloidal Quantum Nanostructures in Next Generation Displays.” AsiaChem, 1, 1, Pp. 26-35. Publisher's Version Abstract
"The Recent Technological Advancements have greatly improved the quality and resolution of displays. Yet, issues like full color gamut representation and long lasting durability of the color emitters require further progression. Colloidal quantum dots manifest an inherent narrow spectral emission with optical stability, combined with various chemical processability options which will allow for their integration in display applications. Apart from their numerous advantages, they also present unique opportunities for the next technological leaps in the field."

 

U Banin, N Waiskopf, L Hammarström, G Boschloo, M Freitag, EMJ Johansson, J Sá, H Tian, MB Johnston, and LM Herz. 2020. “Nanotechnology for catalysis and solar energy conversion.” Nanotechnology, 32, 4, Pp. 042003. Publisher's Version Abstract
nanotech2020"This Roadmap on Nanotechnology for Catalysis and Solar Energy Conversion focuses on the application of nanotechnology in addressing the current challenges of energy conversion: 'high efficiency, stability, safety, and the potential for low-cost/scalable manufacturing' to quote from the contributed article by Nathan Lewis. This roadmap focuses on solar-to-fuel conversion, solar water splitting, solar photovoltaics and bio-catalysis.  It includes dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), perovskite solar cells, and organic photovoltaics. Smart engineering of colloidal quantum materials and nanostructured electrodes will improve solar-to-fuel conversion efficiency, as described in the articles by Waiskopf and Banin and Meyer. Semiconductor nanoparticles will also improve solar energy conversion efficiency, as discussed by Boschloo et al in their article on DSSCs. Perovskite solar cells have advanced rapidly in recent years, including new ideas on 2D and 3D hybrid halide perovskites, as described by Spanopoulos et al 'Next generation' solar cells using multiple exciton generation (MEG) from hot carriers, described in the article by Nozik and Beard, could lead to remarkable improvement in photovoltaic efficiency by using quantization effects in semiconductor nanostructures (quantum dots, wires or wells). These challenges will not be met without simultaneous improvement in nanoscale characterization methods. Terahertz spectroscopy, discussed in the article by Milot et al is one example of a method that is overcoming the difficulties associated with nanoscale materials characterization by avoiding electrical contacts to nanoparticles, allowing characterization during device operation, and enabling characterization of a single nanoparticle. Besides experimental advances, computational science is also meeting the challenges of nanomaterials synthesis. The article by Kohlstedt and Schatz discusses the computational frameworks being used to predict structure–property relationships in materials and devices, including machine learning methods, with an emphasis on organic photovoltaics. The contribution by Megarity and Armstrong presents the 'electrochemical leaf' for improvements in electrochemistry and beyond. In addition, biohybrid approaches can take advantage of efficient and specific enzyme catalysts. These articles present the nanoscience and technology at the forefront of renewable energy development that will have significant benefits to society."

 

Nir Waiskopf, Shlomo Magdassi, and Uri Banin. 2020. “Quantum Photoinitiators: Toward Emerging Photocuring Applications.” Journal of the American Chemical Society, 143, 2, Pp. 577-587. Abstract
JACS_2020"Semiconductor Nanocrystals are Promising Photocatalysts for a wide range of applications, ranging from alternative fuel generation to biomedical and environmental applications. This stems from their diverse properties, including flexible spectral tunability, stability, and photocatalytic efficiencies. Their functionality depends on the complex influence of multiple parameters, including their composition, dimensions, architecture, surface coating, and environmental conditions. A particularly promising direction for rapid adoption of these nanoparticles as photocatalysts is their ability to act as photoinitiators (PIs) for radical polymerization. Previous studies served to demonstrate the proof of concept for the use of quantum confined semiconductor nanocrystals as photoinitiators, coining the term Quantum PIs, and provided insights for their photocatalytic mechanism of action. However, these early reports suffered from low efficiencies while requiring purging with inert gases, use of additives, and irradiation by high light intensities with very long excitation durations, which limited their potential for real-life applications. The progress in nanocrystal syntheses and surface engineering has opened the way to the introduction of the next generation of Quantum PIs. Herein, we introduce the research area of nanocrystal photocatalysts, review their studies as Quantum PIs for radical polymerization, from suspension polymerization to novel printing, as well as in a new family of polymerization techniques, of reversible deactivation radical polymerization, and provide a forward-looking view for the challenges and prospects of this field."

 

Guy Lazovski, Galit Bar, Botao Ji, Nurit Atar, Uri Banin, and Raz Gvishi. 2020. “A simple method for preparation of silica aerogels doped with monodispersed nanoparticles in homogeneous concentration.” The Journal of Supercritical Fluids, 159, Pp. 104496. Publisher's Version Abstract
j_sup_fluid_2020"Silica Aerogel is a Solid Matrix, capable of preserving the unique properties of nanoparticles incorporated in it; forming a macroscopic structure that benefits from nano-metric properties. We developed a simple method for preparation of doped silica aerogels. Dopants are implemented as silica coated nanoparticles suspended in alcohol or alcohol:water mixture. This suspension replaces  a portion of the pure solvent in the one-step base catalyzed silica aerogel recipe. Aerogels doped with, Au nano-spheres, Ag nano-platelets, and CdSe/CdS core/shell quantum dots, were prepared. These aerogels exhibit homogeneous mono-dispersion of the nanoparticles, and possess the nanoparticles' unique optical properties. Additionally, doping does not affect the gelation process or the silica matrix. We envision that using this methodology, many other silica coated nanoparticles can be implemented as dopants. Furthermore, complex systems of several co-dopants can be obtained in a reproducible manner. Such aerogels can be tailor made for a vast range of applications."

 

Orian Elimelech, Omer Aviv, Meirav Oded, and Uri Banin. 2020. “A Tale of Tails–Thermodynamics of CdSe Nanocrystal Surface Ligand Exchange.” Nano Letters, 20, 9, Pp. 6396–6403. Publisher's Version Abstract
Orian_NL_2020"The Surface Ligands of Semiconductor Nanocrystals (NCs) are central for determining their properties and for their flexible implementation in diverse applications. Thus far, the thermodynamic characteristics of ligand exchange reactions were attained by indirect methods. Isothermal titration calorimetry is utilized to directly and independently measure both the equilibrium constant and the reaction enthalpy of a model ligand exchange reaction from oleate-capped CdSe NCs  to a series of alkylthiols. Increased reaction exothermicity for longer chains, accompanied by a decrease in reaction entropy with an overall enthalpy–entropy compensation behavior is observed, explained by the length-dependent interchain interactions and the organization of the bound ligands on the NCs’ surface. An increase in the spontaneity of the reaction with decreasing NC size is also revealed, due to their enhanced surface reactivity. This work provides a fundamental understanding of the physicochemical properties of the NC surface with implications for NC surface ligand design."

 

Gil Aizik, Nir Waiskopf, Majd Agbaria, Meital Ben-David-Naim, Mirjam M Nordling-David, Doaa Jbara-Agbaria, Uri Banin, and Gershon Golomb. 2020. “Targeting and imaging of monocyte-derived macrophages in rat's injured artery following local delivery of liposomal quantum dots.” Journal of Controlled Release, 318, Pp. 145-157. Publisher's Version Abstract

"Quantum Dots Offer Superior Optical Features and hold a great potential as an imaging tool in comparison to ‘conventional’ fluorescent dyes. However, in vivo application in inflammatory-associated disorders is limited due to potential toxicity following systemic administration. Vascular inflammation contributes to cardiovascular diseases such as restenosis (re-narrowing of the artery following angioplasty), and poor Unlabelled Image prognosis is associated with the increased number of monocytes-derived macrophages (MDMs) in the arterial wall.  Local administration of a suitable delivery system targeting MDMs could provide effective fluorescent imaging while minimizing systemic exposure and toxicity. We report here on the physicochemical characteristics and the structural stability of MDMs-targeted liposomal QDs (LipQDs), cellular uptake and cytotoxicity, the systemic biodistribution of LipQDs following local intra-luminal administration of LipQDs in carotid-injured rats vs. systemic administration, and imaging of QDs in the arterial tissue. The local treatment with LipQDs was found to be a suitable approach for targeting QDs to MDMs in the injured artery. In contrast to free QDs, the LipQDs formulation exhibited unique properties including structural and fluorescent stability, increased accumulation and retention for up to 24 h, and targeting properties enabling imaging of MDMs. MDMs imaging by targeted nanoparticles (NPs) could potentially serve for the detection of MDMs density in the injured artery for diagnostic purposes."