Zinc-alloyed cadmium selenide (Cd/ZnSe) quantum dots (QDs) were synthesised in a wet chemical method using thioglycolic acid as a stabilising agent. This facile synthesis method does not require high-temperature or inert gas (argon or nitrogen) atmosphere as required in prevailing methods. Also, this method does not require pyrophoric compounds such as trioctylphosphine (TOP) and trioctylphosphine oxide (TOPO). The synthesised QDs were characterised using a spectrofluorometer, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrometer, zeta potential, fluorescence lifetime spectrometer, ICP-OES, and selected area electron diffraction (SAED). The synthesised QDs were spherical with an average diameter of 5.08 nm and has a carboxyl group on their surface making them readily soluble in water and are biologically compatible. The QDs were evaluated for visible light–induced photocatalysis of Rhodamine 6G, and around 68% of the dye was degraded with 60 min of visible light irradiation. The synthesised QDs were tested for its toxicity in Danio rerio embryos including survival percentage, percentage of hatching, heartbeat counts and body length. Based on the toxicity evaluation, along with the presence of the carboxyl group on their surface, these QDs can harbour targeting molecules which will serve as a less toxic molecular imaging probe.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Barnham, K., Marques, J. L., Hassard, J., & O’Brien, P. (2000). Quantum-dot concentrator and thermodynamic model for the global redshift. Applied Physics Letters, 76(9), 1197–1199.
Chan, W. C., & Nie, S. (1998). Quantum dot bioconjugates for ultrasensitive nonisotopic detection. Science (New York, N.Y.), 281(5385), 2016–2018.
Chen, L., Tuo, L., Rao, J., & Zhou, X. (2014). TiO2 doped with different ratios of graphene and optimized application in CdS/CdSe quantum dot-sensitized solar cells. Materials Letters, 124, 161–164.
Achermann, M., Petruska, M. A., Kos, S., & Smith, D. L. (2004). Energy-transfer pumping of semiconductor nanocrystals using an epitaxial quantum well. Nature, 429(6992), 642.
Colvin, V., Schlamp, M., & Alivisatos, A. P. (1994). Light-emitting-diodes made from cadmium selenide nanocrystals and a semiconducting polymer. Nature, 370(6488), 354–357.
Duan, J., Song, L., & Zhan, J. (2009). One-pot synthesis of highly luminescent CdTe quantum dots by microwave irradiation reduction and their Hg2+-sensitive properties. Nano Research, 2(1), 61–68.
Geng, Y., Chen, Q., Zhou, C., Song, J., Wang, R., & Zhou, L. (2015). Formation of 3-mercaptopropionic acid-ZnxCd1−xSe quantum dots with tunable band gap. Chemical Physics Letters, 634, 156–159.
Valizadeh, A., Mikaeili, H., Samiei, M., Farkhani, S. M., Zarghami, N., Kouhi, M., et al. (2012). Quantum dots: synthesis, bioapplications, and toxicity. Nanoscale Research Letters, 7(1), 480.
Surana, K., Singh, P. K., Rhee, H.-W., & Bhattacharya, B. (2014). Synthesis, characterization and application of CdSe quantum dots. Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, 20(6), 4188–4193.
J JSP, G V, Ramachandran, M., & Rajamanickam, K. (2017). Analysis on nonlinear optical properties of Cd (Zn) Se quantum dots synthesized using three different stabilizing agents. Optical Materials, 72, 821–827.
Ratnesh, R. K., & Mehata, M. S. (2017). Investigation of biocompatible and protein sensitive highly luminescent quantum dots/nanocrystals of CdSe, CdSe/ZnS and CdSe/CdS. Spectrochimica acta Part A, Molecular and biomolecular spectroscopy., 179, 201–210.
Lee, J. R., Li, W., Cowan, A. J., & Jäckel, F. (2017). Hydrophilic, hole-delocalizing ligand shell to promote charge transfer from colloidal CdSe quantum dots in water. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 121(28), 15160–15168.
Kumar Gupta, D., Verma, M., Patidar, D., Sharma, K., & Saxena, S. N. (2017). Synthesis, characterization and optical properties of CdSe and ZnSe quantum dots. Nanoscience & Nanotechnology-Asia, 7(1), 73–79.
Zhang, A., Bian, Y., Wang, J., Chen, K., Dong, C., & Ren, J. (2016). Suppressed blinking behavior of CdSe/CdS QDs by polymer coating. Nanoscale, 8(9), 5006–5014.
Shutian, W., Zhilin, Z., Zhixiao, W., Gugangfen, W., Pingjian, W., Hai, L., et al. (2016). Improved photoluminescence quantum yield and stability of CdSe-TOP, CdSe-ODA-TOPO, CdSe/CdS and CdSe/EP nanocomposites. Materials Research Express, 3(7), 075904.
Gupta, D. K., Verma, M., Patidar, D., Sharma, K. B., & Saxena, N. S. (2016). Organic synthesis of highly luminescent CdSe quantum dot. Advanced Science Letters, 22(11), 3893–3896.
King-Heiden, T. C., Wiecinski, P. N., Mangham, A. N., Metz, K. M., Nesbit, D., Pedersen, J. A., et al. (2009). Quantum dot nanotoxicity assessment using the zebrafish embryo. Environmental Science & Technology, 43(5), 1605–1611.
Prakash, J. S., & Rajamanickam, K. (2015). Aptamers and their significant role in cancer therapy and diagnosis. Biomedicines, 3(3), 248–269.
Nair, L. V., Nagaoka, Y., Maekawa, T., Sakthikumar, D., & Jayasree, R. S. (2014). Quantum dot tailored to single wall carbon nanotubes: a multifunctional hybrid nanoconstruct for cellular imaging and targeted photothermal therapy. Small, 10(14), 2771–2775.
Thanigainathan, P., & Paramasivan, C. (2012). Growth and characterization of optically confined particulate films of anatase TiO2. International Nano Letters, 2(1), 34.
Sun, Q., Fu, S., Dong, T., Liu, S., & Huang, C. (2012). Aqueous synthesis and characterization of TGA-capped CdSe quantum dots at freezing temperature. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 17(7), 8430–8438.
Wang, Y., Lu, J. P., & Tong, Z. F. (2010). Rapid synthesis of CdSe nanocrystals in aqueous solution at room temperature. Bulletin of Materials Science, 33(5), 543–546.
Kuang, R., Kuang, X., Pan, S., Zheng, X., Duan, J., & Duan, Y. (2010). Synthesis of cysteamine-coated CdTe quantum dots for the detection of bisphenol A. Microchimica Acta, 169(1), 109–115.
Liu, Y. F., & Yu, J. S. (2009). Selective synthesis of CdTe and high luminescence CdTe/CdS quantum dots: the effect of ligands. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 333(2), 690–698.
Zhang, J., Han, B., Liu, D., Chen, J., Liu, Z., Mu, T., et al. (2004). Effects of ultrasound on the microenvironment in reverse micelles and synthesis of nanorods and nanofibers. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 6(9), 2391–2395.
Santos, C. I. L., Carvalho, M. S., Raphael, E., Dantas, C., Ferrari, J. L., & Schiavon, M. A. (2016). Synthesis, optical characterization, and size distribution determination by curve resolution methods of water-soluble CdSe quantum dots. Materials Research, 19, 1407–1416.
Kloepfer, J. A., Bradforth, S. E., & Nadeau, J. L. (2005). Photophysical properties of biologically compatible CdSe quantum dot structures. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 109(20), 9996–10003.
Qiu, F., Han, Z., Peterson, J. J., Odoi, M. Y., Sowers, K. L., & Krauss, T. D. (2016). Photocatalytic hydrogen generation by CdSe/CdS nanoparticles. Nano Letters, 16(9), 5347–5352.
Zhu, H., & Li, Q. (2013). Visible light-driven CdSe nanotube array photocatalyst. Nanoscale Research Letters, 8(1), 230.
Gholamrezaei, S., Salavati-Niasari, M., Ghanbari, D., & Bagheri, S. (2016). Hydrothermal preparation of silver telluride nanostructures and photo-catalytic investigation in degradation of toxic dyes. Scientific Reports, 6, 20060.
Almeida, J., Diniz, Y., Marques, S., Faine, L., Ribas, B., Burneiko, R., et al. (2002). The use of the oxidative stress responses as biomarkers in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) exposed to in vivo cadmium contamination. Environment International, 27(8), 673–679.
Meinelt, T., Playle, R. C., Pietrock, M., Burnison, B. K., Wienke, A., & Steinberg, C. E. (2001). Interaction of cadmium toxicity in embryos and larvae of zebrafish (Danio rerio) with calcium and humic substances. Aquatic Toxicology, 54(3–4), 205–215.
Zolotarev, K. V., Kashirtseva, V. N., Mishin, A. V., Belyaeva, N. F., Medvedeva, N. V., & Ipatova, O. M. (2012). Assessment of toxicity of Cdse/Cds/Zns/S, S-dihydrolipoic acid/polyacrylic acid quantum dots at Danio rerio embryos and larvae. ISRN Nanotechnology, 2012, 5.
The authors would like to thank the Sophisticated Analysis and Instrumentation Facility (SAIF), IIT-Madras, National Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, University of Madras, Centre for Ocean Research and Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai, for helping us to utilise various characterisation techniques.
Conflict of Interest
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
•The Cd/ZnSe was synthesised by facile wet chemical method with thioglycolic acid as a stabilising agent.
•The synthesised QDs were tested for its ability as photocatalyst using the degradation of commercially available dye, Rhodamine 6G.
•These QDs were tested for their ecological toxicity in zebrafish embryos by assessing their survival rate, body length, percentage of hatching and heartbeat counts.
About this article
Cite this article
Prakash, J.S., Ramachandran, M. & Rajamanickam, K. Facile Synthesis of Zinc Alloyed Cadmium Selenide (Cd/ZnSe) Quantum Dots and its Photocatalytic Activity and In Vivo Toxicity Assessment in Danio rerio Embryos. BioNanoSci. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12668-021-00833-6
- Quantum dots
- Thioglycolic acid
- Photocatalytic activity
- Danio rerio
- Toxicity evaluation