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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2014, Article ID 397469, 7 pages
Research Article

A Novel Approach to the Fabrication of CdSe Quantum Dots in Aqueous Solution: Procedures for Controlling Size, Fluorescence Intensity, and Stability over Time

1Departamento de Química Analítica, Nutrición y Bromatología, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad de Salamanca, Plaza de la Merced, s/n, 37007 Salamanca, Spain
2Departamento de Química Inorgánica, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad de Salamanca, Plaza de la Merced, s/n, 37007 Salamanca, Spain

Received 10 October 2013; Accepted 4 April 2014; Published 24 April 2014

Academic Editor: M. Ghoranneviss

Copyright © 2014 M. J. Almendral-Parra et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper report a straightforward approach for the synthesis of CdSe quantum dots (CdSe QDs) in aqueous solution. This method, performed in homogeneous phase, affords optimal sizes and high quantum yields for each application desired. It is an a la carte procedure for the synthesis of nanoparticles aimed at their later application. By controlling the experimental conditions, CdSe QDs of sizes ranging between 2 and 6 nm can be obtained. The best results were achieved in an ice-bath thermostated at 4°C, using mercaptoacetic acid as dispersant. Under these conditions, a slow growth of quantum nanocrystals was generated and this was controlled kinetically by the hydrolysis of to generate   in situ, one of the forming species of the nanocrystal. The organic dispersant mercaptoacetate covalently binds to the Cd2+ ion, modifying the diffusion rate of the cation, and plays a key role in the stabilization of CdSe QDs. In optimum conditions, when kept in their own solution CdSe QDs remain dispersed over 4 months. The NPs obtained under optimal conditions show high fluorescence, which is a great advantage as regards their applications. The quantum efficiency is also high, owing to the formation under certain conditions of a nanoshell of Cd(OH)2, values of 60% being reached.