Synthesis and Characterization of CdSe Qunatum Dots

By Nicholas Blake

University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA

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In this laboratory, students will study how surfactant-based chemistry can be used to synthesize CdSe quantum dots and study how the size of the quantum dots can be controlled by varying reaction time. The laboratory will  demonstrate how the color of these quantum dots can be connected to the size of the nanoparticle by considering the electrons as freely moving particles in a box with the dimensions of the nanoparticle. The model of  will be compared with more exact results, and use this to create a calibration curve. Students will be able to estimate the size.

This lab is designed to help students understand that nanosize particles of a given substance often exhibit different properties and behavior than macro- or micro- size particles of the same material.



Developed by the Georgia Institute of Technology NNIN RET Program.

Sponsored by

This lesson was developed with support of the National Science Foundation, NNIN and the NNIN RET Program.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Nicholas Blake (2017), "Synthesis and Characterization of CdSe Qunatum Dots,"

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Nancy Healy

NNCI Education and Outreach, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA