We have reported first example of 3D hierarchy structure from self-assembly of water-soluble QDs followed by chemical reaction control. After addition of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, dipotassium salt dehydrate (EDTA) into L-cysteine-stabilized CdTe QD solution, the color of solution was observed to become lighter and shallower, and finally white precipitates appeared. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) results confirm that the morphology transformation from zero dimensional (0D) QDs via two-dimensional (2D) nanoflakes to 3D microflowers occurs among those QD assemblies. Meanwhile, EDX results demonstrate that the as-formed QD-assemblies are not CdTe but CdS. The turnover of chemistry nature from CdTe to CdS after addition of EDTA is mainly due to the oxidation of Te followed by a series of chemical reactions. The photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) results reveal that such 3D hierarchy structure of CdS QDs have good optical property.
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