Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Chemical and Biological Engineering

First Advisor

Aaron R. Clapp


Quantum dots (QDs) are considered as fantastic substitutes for organic dyes or genetically coded proteins because of their outstanding optical properties including broad absorption spectra, size tunable emission spectra, large extinction coefficient and superior resistance to chemical and physical degradation. They are now widely used in many biological applications. However, QDs are generally synthesized using organometallic approach and only soluble in organic solvents. To transfer QDs into aqueous solution, we replaced their native ligands with a new group of water-soluble molecules based on simple yet flexible dithiocarbamate chemistry. This cap exchange method offers QDs not only solubility but also stability. We then investigate their applications in cellular labeling and \textit{in vitro} assay by making use of their unique optical properties.

To extend QDs application, we encapsulate them into amphiphilic polymers using micromixers (confined impinging jets reactor (CIJR) and multi-inlets vortex mixer (MIVM)). They are much brighter than single QD and they can be potentially used in optical barcoding. We are able to generate particles in a wide range of size from 90nm to 800nm by exploiting single mixer or mixers in series.

Copyright Owner

Yanjie Zhang



Date Available


File Format


File Size

194 pages