I am doing a senior project that synthesizes PbS quantum dots and our particles keep crashing out of solution. I was wondering if anyone can give me some advice or information on stabilizing the colloidal solution. The solvent is DI water. I am interested in the chemistry behind stabilization. like what needs to be added to lower the surface energies of particles? why it is added? and how it stabilizes the colloids?
Try mercaptoacetate surface treatment to put a negative charge on their surfaces for repulsion around pH 8 or 9 basic solution. Uncoordinated mercaptoacetate is oxidatively dimerized to the disulfide by air (oxygen). The drug S-mercaptocysteine as its salt (basic pH) should be more aggressive toward binding. 3-Mercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid will bind at lower pH.
The dose must be low enough that you do not disaggregate your particles, especially over time. You can permeable membrane desalt an excess.