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The current state-of-the-art of colloidal II-VI nanocrystal formation using the aqueous/thiol synthesis route is described. Work on single component and heterostructures and mixed compound quantum dots is discussed. The purpose of the work is to provide a range of infrared (IR)-emitting materials with high quantum efficiency (QE) as potential gain media for future ultrawideband optical amplifiers for high-capacity wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) telecommunications systems. Physical and chemical factors influencing particle sizes are described.