Thiol-capped germanium nanocrystals: Preparation and evidence for quantum size effects

Elayaraja Muthuswamy, Jing Zhao, Katayoun Tabatabaei, Marlene M. Amador, Michael A. Holmes, Frank E. Osterloh, Susan M. Kauzlarich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Applications of Ge nanocrystals (NCs) are limited by the stability and air reactivity of the Ge surface. In order to promote stability and increase the diversity of ligand functionalization of Ge NCs, the preparation of thiol-passivated Ge NCs via a ligand exchange process was investigated. Herein a successful replacement of oleylamine ligands on the surface of Ge NCs with dodecanethiol is reported. The successful ligand exchange was monitored by FTIR and NMR spectroscopy and it was found that dodecanethiol provided a better surface coverage, leading to stable Ge NC dispersions. Dodecanethiol capping also enabled band gap determination of the NCs by surface photovoltage (SPV) spectroscopy. The SPV measurements indicated an efficient charge separation in the ligand-exchanged Ge NCs. On the other hand, oleylamine-terminated Ge NCs of similar sizes exhibited a very small photovoltage, indicating a poorly passivated surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2138-2146
Number of pages9
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 25 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Chemistry(all)


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