Tuning the Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance in Cu2-xSe Nanocrystals by Postsynthetic Ligand Exchange
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Nanoparticles exhibiting localized surface plasmon resonances (LSPR) are valuable tools traditionally used in a wide field of applications including sensing, imaging, biodiagnostics and medical therapy. Plasmonics in semiconductor nanocrystals is of special interest because of the tunability of the carrier densities in semiconductors, and the possibility to couple the plasmonic resonances to quantum confined excitonic transitions. Here, colloidal Cu2?xSe nanocrystals were synthesized, whose composition was shown by Rutherford backscattering analysis and electron dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, to exhibit Cu deficiency. The latter results in p-type doping causing LSPRs, in the present case around a wavelength of 1100 nm, closely matching the indirect band gap of Cu2?xSe. By partial exchange of the organic ligands to specific electron trapping or donating species the LSPR is fine-tuned to exhibit blue or red shifts, in total up to 200 nm. This tuning not only provides a convenient tool for post synthetic adjustments of LSPRs to specific target wavelength but the sensitive dependence of the resonance wavelength on surface charges makes these nanocrystals also interesting for sensing applications, to detect analytes dressed by functional groups.