• Encapsulated Cd3P2 quantum dots emitting from the visible to the near infrared for bio-labelling applications

      Ding, L.P.; He, S.L.; Chen, D.C.; Huang, M.; Xu, J.Z.; Hickey, Stephen G.; Eychmüller, A.; Yu, S.H.; Miao, S. (2014)
      Cd3P2 quantum dots (QDs) have been synthesized in both aqueous and high boiling point surfactant solutions via a gas-bubbling method. The synthesized QDs exhibit photoluminescent wavelengths spanning across the visible red to the near-infrared (NIR) spectral region. Two types of shell materials, SiO2 nanobeads and PS micro-spheres, have been employed to encapsulate the Cd3P2 QDs which provide protecting layers against physiological solutions. The coating layers are proven to enhance the optical and chemical stability of Cd3P2 QDs, and make the fluorescent particles capable of sustaining long-term photo-oxidation. To demonstrate the applicability of the bio-labelling, the fluorescent composite particles (PS@QDs, SiO2@QDs) were injected into a culture medium of colorectal carcinoma (LoVo) cells. The results demonstrated that the PS@QDs exhibited a brighter fluorescence, but the SiO2@QDs provided a better photostability which consequently led to long-term cancer cell detection as well as a much lower release of toxic Cd2+ into the PBS solutions.