Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Stephanie L. Brock


This dissertation work is focused on developing methods to facilitate charge transport in heterostructured materials that comprise a nanoscale component. Multicomponent semiconductor materials were prepared by (1) spin coating of discrete nanomaterials onto porous silicon (pSi) or (2) self-assembly. Spin-coating of colloidal quantum dot (QD) PbS solutions was employed to create prototype PbS QD based radiation detection devices using porous silicon (pSi) as an n-type support and charge transport material. These devices were initially tested as a photodetector to ascertain the possibility of their use in high energy radiation detection. Short chain thiolate ligands (4-fluorothiophenolate) and anion passivation at the particle interface were evaluated to augment interparticle transport. However, the samples showed minimum interaction with the light source possibly due to poor infiltration into the pSi.

The second project was also driven by the potential synergistic properties that can be achieved in multicomponent metal chalcogenide nanostructures, potentially useful in optoelectronic devices. Working with well-established methods for single component metal chalcogenide (MQ) particle gels this dissertation research sought to develop practical methods for co-gelation of different component particles with complimentary functionalities. By monitoring the kinetics of aggregation using time resolved dynamic light scattering and NMR spectroscopy the kinetics of aggregation of the two most common crystal structures for CdQ nanocrystals was studied and it was determined that the hexagonal (wurtzite) crystal structure aggregated faster than the cubic (zinc blende) crystal structure. For gel coupling of nanoparticles with differing Q (Q=S, Se and Te), once we accounted for the crystal structure effects, it was dtermined that the relative redox characteristics of Q govern the reaction rate.

The oxidative sol-gel assembly routes were also employed to fabricate metal chalcogenide NC gels with different NC components with control over the degree of mixing. In order to control the degree of mixing, the factors that underscore sol-gel oxidative assembly were elucidated and the aggregation and gelation kinetics of metal chalcogenide QDs were monitored through time-resolved dynamic light scattering (TR-DLS), and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). Through these kinetic studies of the surface speciation of metal chalcogenides, control over heterogeneity in dual component CdSe-ZnS system, was achieved through adjustment of the capping ligand, the native crystal structure and the chalcogenide, thereby changing the relative rates of assembly for each component independently.