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Issue 35, 2016
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Symmetry breaking in semiconductor nanocrystals via kinetic-controlled surface diffusion: a strategy for manipulating the junction structure

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Abstract

The synthesis of semiconductor nanocrystals is usually limited to high-level symmetry, as constrained by the inherent, for example, face-centered cubic or hexagonal close-packed lattices of the crystals. Herein, we report a robust approach for breaking the symmetry of the CdS lattice and obtaining high-quality CdS ultrathin monopods, bipods, tripods, and tetrapods. The success relies on manipulating reaction kinetics by dropwise addition of a precursor solution, which permits deterministic control over the number of CdS monomers in the reaction solution. With rapid monomer supply by fast precursor injection, growth was restricted to only one {111} facet of the nascent CdS tetrahedron to produce an asymmetric ultrathin monopod (a zinc-blende tip with a wurtzite arm). Otherwise, growth monomers could access adjacent {111} facets through surface diffusion and thus lead to the switch of the growth pattern from asymmetric to symmetric to generate an ultrathin multipod (a zinc-blende tip/core with multi-wurtzite arms). These symmetry-controlled photocatalysts were characterized by a fine-tuned zinc blende–wurtzite intergrowth type-II homojunction. After evaluating their structure-dependent solar-hydrogen-production properties, the CdS ultrathin monopod with an appropriate length for controllable charge transportation showed the highest photocatalytic activity.

Graphical abstract: Symmetry breaking in semiconductor nanocrystals via kinetic-controlled surface diffusion: a strategy for manipulating the junction structure

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
19 May 2016
Accepted
05 Aug 2016
First published
08 Aug 2016

Nanoscale, 2016,8, 15970-15977
Article type
Paper

Symmetry breaking in semiconductor nanocrystals via kinetic-controlled surface diffusion: a strategy for manipulating the junction structure

X. Wang, M. Liu, Y. Chen, W. Fu, B. Wang and L. Guo, Nanoscale, 2016, 8, 15970
DOI: 10.1039/C6NR04063B

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