Spatially selective assembly of quantum dot light emitters in an LED using engineered peptides

ACS Nano. 2011 Apr 26;5(4):2735-41. doi: 10.1021/nn103127v. Epub 2011 Mar 4.


Semiconductor nanocrystal quantum dots are utilized in numerous applications in nano- and biotechnology. In device applications, where several different material components are involved, quantum dots typically need to be assembled at explicit locations for enhanced functionality. Conventional approaches cannot meet these requirements where assembly of nanocrystals is usually material-nonspecific, thereby limiting the control of their spatial distribution. Here we demonstrate directed self-assembly of quantum dot emitters at material-specific locations in a color-conversion LED containing several material components including a metal, a dielectric, and a semiconductor. We achieve a spatially selective immobilization of quantum dot emitters by using the unique material selectivity characteristics provided by the engineered solid-binding peptides as smart linkers. Peptide-decorated quantum dots exhibited several orders of magnitude higher photoluminescence compared to the control groups, thus, potentially opening up novel ways to advance these photonic platforms in applications ranging from chemical to biodetection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Light*
  • Nanoparticles
  • Peptides / chemistry*
  • Protein Engineering*
  • Quantum Dots*


  • Peptides