Comparative examination of the stability of semiconductor quantum dots in various biochemical buffers

J Phys Chem B. 2006 Feb 9;110(5):1959-63. doi: 10.1021/jp056371p.


Due to their greater photostability compared to established organic fluorescence markers, semiconductor quantum dots provide an attractive alternative for the biolabeling of living cells. On the basis of a comparative investigation using differently sized thiol-stabilized CdTe nanocrystals in a variety of commonly used biological buffers, a method is developed to quantify the stability of such a multicomponent system. Above a certain critical size, the intensity of the photoluminescence of the nanocrystals is found to diminish with pseudo-zero-order kinetics, whereas for specific combinations of particle size, ligand, and buffer there appears to be no decay below this critical particle size, pointing out the necessity for thorough investigations of this kind in the view of prospect applications of semiconductor nanocrystals in the area of biolabeling.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Buffers
  • Cadmium / chemistry
  • Crystallization
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry
  • Kinetics
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods
  • Nanotechnology / methods*
  • Particle Size
  • Quantum Dots*
  • Semiconductors*
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / pharmacology
  • Tellurium / chemistry


  • Buffers
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • Cadmium
  • Tellurium