A method of in situ formation of patterns of size controlled CdS nanocrystals in a polymer matrix by pulsed UV irradiation is presented. The films consist of Cd thiolate precursors with different carbon chain lengths embedded in TOPAS polymer matrices. Under UV irradiation the precursors are photolyzed, driving to the formation of CdS nanocrystals in the quantum size regime, with size and concentration defined by the number of incident UV pulses, while the host polymer remains macroscopically/microscopically unaffected. The emission of the formed nanocomposite materials strongly depends on the dimensions of the CdS nanocrystals, thus, their growth at the different phases of the irradiation is monitored using spatially resolved photoluminescence by means of a confocal microscope. X-ray diffraction measurements verified the existence of the CdS nanocrystals, and defined their crystal structure for all the studied cases. The results are reinforced by transmission electron microscopy. It is proved that the selection of the precursor determines the efficiency of the procedure, and the quality of the formed nanocrystals. Moreover it is demonstrated that there is the possibility of laser induced formation of well-defined patterns of CdS nanocrystals, opening up new perspectives in the development of nanodevices.
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