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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Nanotubular J-aggregates and quantum dots coupled for efficient resonance excitation energy transfer

Yan Qiao, Frank Polzer, Holm Kirmse, Egon Steeg, Sergei Kühn, Sebastian Friede, Stefan Kirstein, Jürgen P Rabe
ACS Nano 2015 February 24, 9 (2): 1552-60
25555126
Resonant coupling between distinct excitons in organic supramolecular assemblies and inorganic semiconductors is supposed to offer an approach to optoelectronic devices. Here, we report on colloidal nanohybrids consisting of self-assembled tubular J-aggregates decorated with semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) via electrostatic self-assembly. The role of QDs in the energy transfer process can be switched from a donor to an acceptor by tuning its size and thereby the excitonic transition energy while keeping the chemistry unaltered. QDs are located within a close distance (<4 nm) to the J-aggregate surface, without harming the tubular structures and optical properties of J-aggregates. The close proximity of J-aggregates and QDs allows the strong excitation energy transfer coupling, which is around 92% in the case of energy transfer from the QD donor to the J-aggregate acceptor and approximately 20% in the reverse case. This system provides a model of an organic-inorganic light-harvesting complex using methods of self-assembly in aqueous solution, and it highlights a route toward hierarchical synthesis of structurally well-defined supramolecular objects with advanced functionality.

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