Nanoscale co-organization of quantum dots and conjugated polymers using polymeric micelles as templates

Mingfeng Wang, Sandeep Kumar, Anna Lee, Neda Felorzabihi, Lei Shen, Fei Zhao, Pablo Froimowicz, Gregory D. Scholes, Mitchell A. Winnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Hierarchical organization of light-absorbing molecules is integral to natural light harvesting complexes and has been mimicked by elegant chemical systems. A challenge is to attain such spatial organization among nanoscale systems. Interactions between nanoscale systems, e.g., conjugated polymers, carbon nanotubes, quantum dots, and so on, are of interest for basic and applied reasons. However, typically the excited-state interactions and dynamics are examined in rather complex blends, such as cast films. A model system with complexity intermediate between a film and a supramolecular system would yield helpful insights into electronic energy and charge transfer. Here, we report a simple and versatile approach to achieving spatially defined organization of colloidal CdSe, CdSe/ZnS core/shell, or PbS nanocrystals (quantum dots) with poly(3-hexylthiophenes) (P3HTs) using micelles of poly(styrene-b-4- vinylpyridine) (PS-b-P4VP) as the main structural motif. We compare the characteristics of this system to those of natural light-harvesting complexes. Bulk heterojunction films (and related systems) are characterized by electronic interactions, and therefore dynamics of charge and energy transfer, at interfaces rather than between specific donor-acceptor molecules. Owing to structural disorder, such systems are inherently complex. Therefore, we expect that the spatially defined organization of the active components in the present system provides new opportunities for studying the complicated photophysics intrinsic to blends of nanoscale systems, such as bulk heterojunctions by establishing simplified and better controlled interfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9481-9491
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number29
StatePublished - Jul 23 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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