Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

David Jonas

Second Advisor

Robert Parson

Third Advisor

Chuck Rogers


The first Raman spectrum of oleylamine was obtained after a multistep purification procedure based on acid-base chemical exchange techniques. The purification was needed because commercially available oleylamine shows photoluminescence in the Raman spectrum, obscuring the Raman peaks. Using the purified oleylamine, sulfur in oleylamine solutions were studied by resonance Raman, UV-vis, absorbance, NMR, and IR spectroscopy. Additionally, the time dependence of sulfur species present in these solutions was studied over several days using Raman spectroscopy. Based on the changes in the Raman spectra over time, it is hypothesized that the concentration of the polysulfide species S42- increases, while the polysulfide species S62- decreases over time in solutions of sulfur in oleylamine. Based on UV-vis spectra of lead sulfide quantum dots synthesized with sulfur in oleylamine precursor that was aged for different times, it is suggested that when a solution of sulfur in oleylamine is used as a precursor for the synthesis of lead sulfide quantum dots, it is best used within a few hours of preparation in order to minimize the absorption linewidth of the quantum dot 1S-1S transition (the lowest lying electronic transition). Spectroscopic information about the sulfur species present in sulfur oleylamine solutions during the first few hours and at later times is further discussed.