Nanotechnological development of new materials involves the discovery or design of materials at small length scales with controlled physical and chemical properties than can be tuned or modified in function of their applications. One of the most suitable examples of nanoparticles used for this purpose are quantum dots, a type of colloidal fluorescent semiconducting nanocrystalline material that has the possibility, due to its unique optical and electronic properties, to be used in numerous technological applications such as biosensing, in vivo imaging techniques, photovoltaics, nanomedicine, molecular pathology, and drug delivery. Thus, there are almost endless possibilities for quantum dots materials. In spite of the fast advance in the search of quantum dots with better nanomaterial performance, environmentally benign and sustainable production is still lacking. Although the use of these materials is developing promptly, there is increasing concern that these materials might pose potential risks to human health. Herein, we discuss principal properties of quantum dots, including their functional architecture and toxicity, and review the main studies about “green” quantum dots synthesis to be aligned with green nanotechnology approach for nontoxic, cleaner, safer, and more responsible processes. The organometallic colloidal synthesis and the aqueous colloidal synthesis, as well as their drawbacks and benefits, are conferred. Recent advances in technological and biological quantum dots–based applications are also discussed in this chapter.
Part of the book: Green Nanotechnology