The research of Dr Celso de Mello Donega is focused on the chemistry and optoelectronic properties of colloidal nanocrystals and heteronanocrystals.
Colloidal nanocrystals (NCs) can be regarded as solution-grown inorganic-organic hybrid nanomaterials, as they consist of inorganic particles that are coated with a layer of organic ligand molecules. The hybrid nature of these nanostructures provides great flexibility in engineering their properties. The nanoscale dimensions of the NCs give rise to remarkable size- and shape-dependent properties that can be further engineered by controlling their composition. Moreover, the organic layer opens up the possibility of surface chemistry manipulation, making it possible to tailor a number of properties. These features turn colloidal NCs into promising materials for a number of applications (e.g., optoelectronics, photonics, spintronics, catalysis, solar energy conversion, thermoelectrics, sensors and biomedical applications).
The combined expertise on both the spectroscopy and the preparation of materials has been instrumental to the success of his efforts, leading to the successful development of new preparation methods for a number of colloidal quantum dots (QDs) and heteronanocrystals (HNCs), with improved or novel optoeletronic properties. The availability of such high-quality QDs and HNCs has in turn allowed his group to unravel new physical phenomena and to give important contributions toward a better understanding of the chemistry and physics of nanoscale materials.