Acetate ligands determine the crystal structure of CdSe nanoplatelets – a density functional theory study†
Cadmium selenide (CdSe) nanoplatelets of a few atomic layers thick exhibit extremely sharp photoluminescence peaks and are synthesized in the zinc blende crystal structure, whereas the most stable bulk polymorph of CdSe is the wurtzite structure. These platelets can be synthesized very monodispersely in thickness, and are covered with acetate ligands. Here, we show by means of density functional theory (DFT) calculations that these ligands play a pivoting role in the stabilization of 2D nanosheets as a whole, including the deviating crystal structure. The relative stability as a function of slab thickness, strong effects on electronic properties, and implications for synthesis are discussed.