Efficient quantum dot-quantum dot and quantum dot-dye energy transfer in biotemplated assemblies

Marc Achermann, Sohee Jeong, Laurent Balet, Gabriel A. Montano, Jennifer A. Hollingsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


CdSe semiconductor nanocrystal quantum dots are assembled into nanowire-like arrays employing microtubule fibers as nanoscale molecular scaffolds. Spectrally and time-resolved energy-transfer analysis is used to assess the assembly of the nanoparticles into the hybrid inorganic biomolecular structure. Specifically, we demonstrate that a comprehensive study of energy transfer between quantum dot pairs on the biotemplate and, alternatively, between quantum dots and molecular dyes embedded in the microtubule scaffold comprises a powerful spectroscopic tool for evaluating the assembly process. In addition to revealing the extent to which assembly has occurred, the approach allows determination of particle-to-particle (and particle-to-dye) distances within the biomediated array. Significantly, the characterization is realized in situ, without need for further sample workup or risk of disturbing the solution-phase constructs. Furthermore, we find that the assemblies prepared in this way exhibit efficient quantum dot-quantum dot and quantum dot-dye energy transfer that affords faster energy-transfer rates compared to densely packed quantum dot arrays on planar substrates and to small-molecule-mediated quantum dot-dye couples, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1761-1768
Number of pages8
JournalACS Nano
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 22 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Förster resonance energy transfer
  • biotemplated assembly
  • microtubule
  • nanocrystal quantum dots

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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