Insights into the Structure and Self-Assembly of Organic-Semiconductor/Quantum-Dot Blends

Daniel T.W. Toolan, Michael P. Weir, Jesse Allardice, Joel A. Smith, Simon A. Dowland, Jurjen Winkel, James Xiao, Zhilong Zhang, Victor Gray, Adam L. Washington, Anthony J. Petty, John E. Anthony, Neil C. Greenham, Richard H. Friend, Akshay Rao, Richard A.L. Jones, Anthony J. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Controlling the dispersibility of crystalline inorganic quantum dots (QD) within organic-QD nanocomposite films is critical for a wide range of optoelectronic devices. A promising way to control nanoscale structure in these nanocomposites is via the use of appropriate organic ligands on the QD, which help to compatibilize them with the organic host, both electronically and structurally. Here, using combined small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering, the authors demonstrate and quantify the incorporation of such a compatibilizing, electronically active, organic semiconductor ligand species into the native oleic acid ligand envelope of lead sulphide, QDs, and how this ligand loading may be easily controlled. Further more, in situ grazing incidence wide/small angle X-ray scattering demonstrate how QD ligand surface chemistry has a pronounced effect on the self-assembly of the nanocomposite film in terms of both small-molecule crystallization and QD dispersion versus ordering/aggregation. The approach demonstrated here shows the important role which the degree of incorporation of an active ligand, closely related in chemical structure to the host small-molecule organic matrix, plays in both the self-assembly of the QD and small-molecule components and in determining the final optoelectronic properties of the system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2109252
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number13
StatePublished - Mar 23 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Advanced Functional Materials published by Wiley-VCH GmbH


  • energy materials
  • grazing incidence wide angle X-ray scattering
  • self-assembly
  • semiconductor nanocrystals
  • small-angle neutron scattering
  • thin films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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