Synthesis of Dopant-Segregated Tin-Doped Indium Oxide (ITO) Nanocrystals
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The use of a localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) in nanostructures has been explored in sensing, spectroscopy, and smart window applications. Furthermore, the ability to synthetically or post-synthetically tune the LSPR frequency has made these materials an increasingly interesting area of study. Metal oxide nanocrystals (NCs) exhibit an LSPR frequency in the infrared region, making them useful for molecular sensing. LSPR also results in an enhanced electric field near the NC surface. The near-field enhancement (NFE) can improve sensing, but the presence of a depletion layer at the NC surface reduces NC sensitivity. By segregating dopants to the surface of the NC, the depletion layer can be reduced, thereby improving NC sensitivity to its surroundings. To study the impact of radial dopant distribution in the NC, it is necessary to independently maintain a high degree of synthetic control over the dopant concentration and NC size. In this work, the synthesis of ITO NCs with dopants segregated to the surface is demonstrated. A method to extract the optical and electronic properties of the core/shell NCs is also described.