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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?

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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.

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