Donega Research Group

Dr. Celso de Mello Donega is an Associate Professor in the group Condensed Matter and Interfaces.

Condensed Matter and Interfaces is part of the Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science at Utrecht University.

His research is focused on the chemistry and optoelectronic properties of nanomaterials, with particular emphasis on colloidal nanocrystals and heteronanocrystals.

Chemistry and Photophysics of Colloidal Nanomaterials


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. The NC can consist of a single material (pure or doped) or be heterostructured, i.e., comprise two or more different materials joined by heterointerfaces. This offers the possibility of tailoring the electron-hole wavefunction overlap, which allows a remarkable degree of control over nanoscale excitons in NCs. Moreover, the organic layer opens up the possibility of surface chemistry manipulation, making it possible to tailor a number of properties. These features have turned colloidal NCs into promising materials for a number of applications (e.g., optoelectronics, photonics, spintronics, catalysis, solar energy conversion, thermoelectrics, sensors and biomedical applications), and opened up an interesting field of multidisciplinary research.


Contact Information:

Condensed Matter and Interfaces
P. O. Box 80.000
The Netherlands

Visiting address:

Ornstein Laboratory, Princetonplein 1, Utrecht
Phone: +31 30-2532226


Read our review in Chemical Society Reviews 40 (2011) 1512

(open access)

“Synthesis and Properties  of Colloidal Heteronanocrystals”

This review addresses the fundamental concepts needed to understand the properties and synthesis of colloidal heteronanocrystals, and highlights the state of the art and key issues in the field

Near-infrared Emitting CuInSe2/CuInS2 Dot Core/Rod Shell Heteronanorods by Sequential Cation Exchange, ACS Nano 9 (2015) 11430-11438 (open access)

Radiative and Nonradiative Recombination in CuInS2 Nanocrystals and CuInS2-Based Core/Shell Nanocrystals, Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 7 (2016) 35033509 (open access)


Workhorses of Nanoscience

Celso de Mello Donega (Editor)

ISBN: 978-3-662-44822-9 (Print) 978-3-662-44823-6 (Online)

· Useful for graduate students with additional exercises

· Presents new potential applications of Nanomaterials

· Provides the essential background of the field


“Excited State Dynamics in Colloidal Semiconductor Nanocrystals”

In-situ probing of stack-templated growth of ultrathin Cu2-xS nanosheets, Chemistry of Materials 28 (2016) 6381-6389 (open access)

Oleic Acid Induced Atomic Alignment of ZnS Polyhedral Nanocrystals, Nano Letters 16 (2016) 2608 - 2614 (open access)

“Prospects of Colloidal Copper Chalcogenide Nanocrystals”

Copper chalcogenide NCs are promising alternatives to conventional NCs.  Recent advances have further extended the control over their synthesis, paving the way toward a plethora of complex multinary Cu-chalcogenide hetero-NCs with tailored properties

Read our review in the special issue of ChemPhysChem “Beyond Conventional Quantum Dots” ChemPhysChem 17 (2016) 559

Read our review in the special issue of Topics in Current Chemistry (Z) 374 (2016) 58. DOI:10.1007/s41061-016-0060-0 (open access)

Shape Control of Colloidal Cu2-xS Polyhedral Nanocrystals by Tuning the Nucleation Rates , Chemistry of Materials 28 (2016)  6705-6715

(open access)