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Issue 5, 2015
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Nanocluster seed-mediated synthesis of CuInS2 quantum dots, nanodisks, nanorods, and doped Zn-CuInGaS2 quantum dots

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Abstract

Recent work using seed-mediated quantum dot growth has shown that nanoparticle seeds are a useful method for providing nucleation centers in order to control the nanoparticle shape and composition. Here we present a facile nanocluster seed-mediated protocol to synthesize CuInS2 quantum dots (q-dots) and Zn and/or Ga doped CuInS2 (Zn-CuInGaS2) q-dots using (NH4)2S as a sulfur source. Due to high reactivity of (NH4)2S toward metal cations, we are able to isolate a CuInS2 nanocluster (<2 nm with low crystallinity) intermediate at low temperatures (60 °C). By varying the conditions of a “heat-up” synthesis method, these nanoclusters can be grown into CuInS2 with different morphologies (q-dots, nanodisks, and nanorods) and different crystalline phases (chalcopyrite and wurtzite). Further, we can incorporate dopant Ga3+ and Zn2+ ions into the q-dots by introducing the dopant either during the nanocluster formation or during the crystal growth stage, resulting in CuInGaS2 and CuInZnS q-dots. Incorporation of both Ga and Zn increases the photoluminescence intensity compared to CuInS2; furthermore, the absorption spectra and photoluminescent emission peaks are shifted to shorter wavelengths. With this nanocluster method, we have also synthesized pentanary Zn-CuInGaS2 for the first time. Compared to quaternary CuInGaS2 and CuInZnS, we observe a larger blue shift in the absorption spectra when both Zn and Ga are present. The interesting optical properties of Zn-CuInGaS2 makes it an attractive material for photovoltaic devices and light emitting diodes. The ability to isolate the intermediate CuInS2 nanoclusters provides a strategy for synthesizing a wide variety of tailored quaternary and pentanary metal chalcogenides in the future.

Graphical abstract: Nanocluster seed-mediated synthesis of CuInS2 quantum dots, nanodisks, nanorods, and doped Zn-CuInGaS2 quantum dots

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Aug 2014, accepted on 19 Nov 2014 and first published on 24 Nov 2014


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4TC01887G
Author version available: Download Author version (PDF)
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. C, 2015,3, 1044-1055
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    Nanocluster seed-mediated synthesis of CuInS2 quantum dots, nanodisks, nanorods, and doped Zn-CuInGaS2 quantum dots

    S. D. Perera, H. Zhang, X. Ding, A. Nelson and R. D. Robinson, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2015, 3, 1044
    DOI: 10.1039/C4TC01887G

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