One-pot synthesis of ultra-small cerium oxide nanodots exhibiting multi-colored fluorescence
CeO2 nanodots of diameter 2nm have been synthesized by the thermolysis of cerium acetate in diphenylether in the presence of an oleic acid surfactant. The surfactant coating enabled them to be easily dispersible in nonpolar solvents. The CeO2 dots exhibited size dependant optical properties such as a red shift in absorption and band gap. As a result, the surfactant coated CeO2 nanocrystals emit photons in the visible region with broad photoluminescence spectra resulting in multi-colored fluorescence, which originates from defects associated with CeO2 nanocrystals approaching molecular dimensions.