To advance the knowledge of environmental fate of nanomaterials, we systematically investigated the dissolution of polymer-coated CdSe/ZnS quantum dots (QDs) under UV (254 nm) irradiation. The environmental effects (i.e., irradiation intensity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and humic acid), as well as the coating effects on dissolution kinetics of QDs were investigated. Our results showed that higher irradiation intensity and temperature increased ion release rates (Cd 2+, SeO 4 2-, and Zn 2+), whereas the different polymer coatings varied the dissolution rates. The absence of dissolved oxygen inhibited the dissolution of QDs, and we further demonstrated that the dissolution was a photo-oxidative process involved superoxide radical formation. Humic acid had a twofold effect on dissolution due to its photosensitization and photoabsorption for UV irradiation. Finally, an empirical kinetic law was proposed to interpret the above environmental effects. This study lays groundwork to better understand the environmental fate of QDs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
- UV Irradiation