The assembly kinetics of colloidal semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) on solid inorganic surfaces is of fundamental importance for implementation of their solid-state devices. Herein an inorganic binding peptide, silica binding QBP1, was utilized for the self-assembly of nanocrystal quantum dots on silica surface as a smart molecular linker. The QD binding kinetics was studied comparatively in three different cases: first, QD adsorption with no functionalization of substrate or QD surface; second, QD adsorption on QBP1-modified surface; and, finally, adsorption of QBP1-functionalized QD on silica surface. The surface modification of QDs with QBP1 enabled 79.3-fold enhancement in QD binding affinity, while modification of a silica surface with QBP1 led to only 3.3-fold enhancement. The fluorescence microscopy images also supported a coherent assembly with correspondingly increased binding affinity. Decoration of QDs with inorganic peptides was shown to increase the amount of surface-bound QDs dramatically compared to the conventional methods. These results offer new opportunities for the assembly of QDs on solid surfaces for future device applications.
© 2011 American Chemical Society