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Towards Artificial Antenna Complexes of Cadmium Selenide Quantum Dots

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posted on 2023-07-03, 02:00 authored by Chan, Sanutep

Climate change has created a demand for a paradigm shift in energy generation methods and sources. New and improving renewable energy technologies form a major part of this upheaval. Specifically, solar energy has high energy potential but is still underutilised due to fundamental limits – only a fraction of the solar spectrum can be efficiently harvested. It is possible to overcome these limits using light management processes. However, these depend on an ordered structure to be effective. To solve a similar problem, nature has developed efficient light harvesting and management structures, from which inspiration can be drawn. Cyanobacterial phycobilisomes are a discrete and ordered arrangement of chromophores which attenuate and direct light through an energy cascade. Copying this structure, an artificial antenna complex can be envisioned.

Here, we propose an energy cascade structure composed of linked cadmium selenide quantum dots. Firstly, we synthesised a series of cadmium selenide quantum dots to represent a broad spectral range covering the visible spectrum and fully characterised them using spectroscopy and TEM imaging. Secondly, we designed and synthesised a range of coupling ligands for click reactions to link the quantum dots together and assemble the antenna complex. Thirdly, the attachment behaviour of these ligands to the quantum dots’ surface was investigated. Unfortunately, while the ligands did bind to the quantum dot surface, with time aggregation occurred. Thus, the potential to create a ordered linked antenna structure of quantum dots was lost. However, instead insight into the qualities of a good and bad ligand to functionalise quantum dots with was gained which will add valuable insight to the wider research community.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Science

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

280105 Expanding knowledge in the chemical sciences; 170804 Solar-photovoltaic energy

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

4 Experimental research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Chemical and Physical Sciences


Davis, Nathaniel

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