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DOTUBE: Interactions between semiconductor nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes

Final Report Summary - DOTUBE (DOTUBE: Interactions between semiconductor nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes)

The aim of the DOTUBE proposal has been the investigation of the ligand environment and the interface between CdSe nanoparticles and flat graphitic surfaces as a model to study the interaction of semiconductor nanoparticles to carbon nanotubes, graphite surfaces, graphene, etc. These systems attract considerable attention due to their photoconductive response arising from the possible photoinduced electron transfer across the interface upon optical excitation. Two main techniques have been employed, namely solid cross polarisation / magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (CP/MAS NMR) and X-ray photoelectron (XPS) spectroscopies. The combination of these techniques shows valuable information about the interactions taking place between nanoparticles and solid surfaces. Solid NMR spectra shows noticeable changes between the ligand shell of nanoparticles synthesised in the presence or absence of chlorinated co-solvents that can only be interpreted as the effect of the incorporation of chlorine species in the environment of the nanoparticle surface. The modification of the organic ligand shell by chlorine strengthens the interaction to graphitic surfaces, as demonstrated by the fact that nanoparticles with larger amounts of chlorine on their surface (determined by XPS) decorate the graphitic carbon surfaces more efficiently than particles with lower amount.

A good understanding has also been achieved from the synthetic point of view by the studies of the reactivity of CdSe nanoparticles prepared in the absence or presence of chlorine. Furthermore, the effect of chlorine on other nanoparticles-type different from CdSe, such as ZnO, PbS, metals or combination of semiconductor and metals (CdSe and Au) has also been performed, what may help for new design strategies for technologically relevant electrode-semiconductor nanoparticle interfaces where control of the physic dynamics of interacting objects could drive favourable transfer mechanisms.

Out of this grant, a new chemical lab has been partially implemented. A doctoral female fellow has been recruited for seven months. Two female students have obtained their master thesis in the topic of this proposal. The scientific results have been gathered in seven already published papers and two more that are in progress. The scientific results have been presented by the European Reintegration Grant (ERG) fellow in international conferences as nine oral communications and seven posters. Some of the results have also been spread in the national press.