Tailoring the Optical Gap and Absorption Strength
of Silicon Quantum Dots
Huashan Li, Tianlei Zhou, Alan Sel inger, and Mark Lusk
Summary: Silicon-based quantum dots (SiQDs) with an organic surface functional that have
improved electronic and optical properties
Description: Colloidal semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) have useful properties that include
tunable adsorption and emission spectra, solution processability, multiple exciton generation,
and slow cooling rate of hot carriers. Most QDs that are currently explored are based on metal
chalcogenide semiconductors that use toxic elements such as cadmium and/or lead, which is
problematic for many poor carrier applications. A non-toxic alternative is silicon-based
quantum dots (SiQDs); however, their use is hampered by several challenges. For example,
dangling bond defects negatively impact their optical performance, agglomeration of the dots
in solution, poor carrier mobility of assemblies of dots, and low band edge absorption of bulk
silicon. This invention relates to SiQDs that are modified with an organic surface
functionalization. Conjugated vinyl connectivity between the SiQD and the organic surface
ligand result in orbital redistributions that can have a dramatic impact on the optical and
electronic properties. The material’s genome for new class of hybrid SiQDs functionalized with
conjugated organic surface and bridging ligands has been characterized.
Main Advantages of this Invention:
 Non-toxic
 Improved optical and electronic
Potential Areas of Application:
 Photovoltaics
 Solar Energy
 Biomedical Imaging
ID number: # 14024
Intel ectual Property Status: US utility application pending (#14/639,868).
Opportunity: Seeking an exclusive or non-exclusive licensee for marketing, manufacturing, and
sale of this technology.
For more information contact:
William Vaughan, Director of Technology Transfer
Colorado School of Mines, 1500 Illinois Street, Guggenheim Hall Suite 314, Golden, CO 80401
Phone: 303-384-2555; e-mail: wvaughan@mines.edu