The wet chemical synthesis of energy and sensor relevant nanomaterials often requires large amounts of high boiling point solvents, grams of reactants, solvent-based purification, and the use of oxygen free atmospheres. These synthetic routes are also prone to poor scalability due to requirements of precise control of high temperatures. Because of this, the potential use of metallic nanoparticles and semiconductive quantum dots (q-dots) in energy transfer and real time biosensor applications is labor intensive and expensive. We have explored a green alternative route that involves the colloidal synthesis of CdSe and CdTe quantum dots under well-controlled hydrothermal conditions (100-200°C) using simple inorganic precursors. The resulting nanomaterials are of high quality, and are easily processed depending upon application, and their synthesis is scalable. Temperature control, and synthetic scalability is provided by the use of a synthetic microwave reactor, which employs computer-controlled dielectric heating for the rapid and controllable heating.