Photophysical properties of complexes of semiconductor quantum dots with conventional photosensitizers for photodynamic therapy (tetrapyrroles) were investigated. A luminescent study of complexes in aqueous solutions was performed using spectral- and time-resolved luminescence spectroscopy. It was found that increasing the photosensitizer relative concentration in complexes resulted in sharp drop of the nonradiative energy transfer efficiency and the quantum yield of the photosensitizer photoluminescence. This fact indicates that additional channels of nonradiative energy dissipation may take place in the complexes. Using complexes of Al(OH)-sulphophthalocyanine with CdSe/ZnS quantum dots in the aqueous solution as an typical example, we have demonstrated that new channels of the energy dissipation may arise due to aggregation of the photosensitizer molecules upon formation of the complexes with quantum dots. We also demonstrated that use of methods of complex formation preventing aggregation of photosensitizers allows to conserve the high energy transfer efficiency and quantum yield of the acceptor photoluminescence in complexes in wide range of the photosensitizer concentrations. We believe that our study allows obtaining new information about the physical mechanisms of nonradiative energy transfer in quantum dots-tetrapyrrole complexes perspective for photodynamic therapy.

© 2015 SPIE

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