Research Article


2019, 12(8): 1804–1809


Highly efficient luminescent I-III-VI semiconductor nanoprobes based on template-synthesized CuInS2 nanocrystals

Xian Li1,2, Datao Tu1,2 (*), Shaohua Yu1, Xiaorong Song1, Wei Lian1, Jiaojiao Wei1, Xiaoying Shang1, Renfu Li1, and Xueyuan Chen1,2 (*)

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1 CAS Key Laboratory of Design and Assembly of Functional Nanostructures, and Fujian Key Laboratory of Nanomaterials, Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Fuzhou 350002, China
2 College of Chemistry and Materials Science, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China

Keywords: CuInS2, semiconductor nanocrystals, cation exchange, luminescent nanoprobes, biosensing
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  • Abstract
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CuInS2 semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs) exhibit large absorption coefficient, size-dependent photoluminescence and low toxicity, making them excellent candidates in a variety of bioapplications. However, precise control of both their composition and morphology to improve the luminescent efficiency remains a great challenge via conventional direct synthesis. Herein, we present a novel low-temperature template synthesis of highly efficient luminescent CuInS2 nanoprobes from In2S3 NCs via a facile cation exchange strategy. The proposed strategy enables synthesis of a series of CuInS2 NCs with broad size tunability from 2.2 to 29.6 nm. Through rationally manipulating the stoichiometry of Cu/In, highly efficient luminescence of CuInS2 with the maximum quantum yield of 28.6% has been achieved, which is about one order of magnitude improvement relative to that of directly synthesized NCs. By virtue of the intense emission of CuInS2 nanoprobes, we exemplify their application in sensitive homogeneous biodetection for an important biomolecule of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) with the limit of detection down to 49.3 nM. Moreover, the CuInS2 nanoprobes are explored for ATP-targeted cancer cell imaging, thus revealing their great potentials in the field of cancer diagnosis and prognosis.
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Highly efficient luminescent I-III-VI semiconductor nanoprobes based on template-synthesized CuInS2 nanocrystals. Nano Res. 2019, 12(8): 1804–1809

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