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Nano Lett. 2010 May 12;10(5):1874-85. doi: 10.1021/nl100669s.

Reproducible, high-throughput synthesis of colloidal nanocrystals for optimization in multidimensional parameter space.

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The Molecular Foundry, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


While colloidal nanocrystals hold tremendous potential for both enhancing fundamental understanding of materials scaling and enabling advanced technologies, progress in both realms can be inhibited by the limited reproducibility of traditional synthetic methods and by the difficulty of optimizing syntheses over a large number of synthetic parameters. Here, we describe an automated platform for the reproducible synthesis of colloidal nanocrystals and for the high-throughput optimization of physical properties relevant to emerging applications of nanomaterials. This robotic platform enables precise control over reaction conditions while performing workflows analogous to those of traditional flask syntheses. We demonstrate control over the size, size distribution, kinetics, and concentration of reactions by synthesizing CdSe nanocrystals with 0.2% coefficient of variation in the mean diameters across an array of batch reactors and over multiple runs. Leveraging this precise control along with high-throughput optical and diffraction characterization, we effectively map multidimensional parameter space to tune the size and polydispersity of CdSe nanocrystals, to maximize the photoluminescence efficiency of CdTe nanocrystals, and to control the crystal phase and maximize the upconverted luminescence of lanthanide-doped NaYF(4) nanocrystals. On the basis of these demonstrative examples, we conclude that this automated synthesis approach will be of great utility for the development of diverse colloidal nanomaterials for electronic assemblies, luminescent biological labels, electroluminescent devices, and other emerging applications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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