Journal of the American Chemical Society

Manipulation of aqueous growth of CdTe nanocrystals to fabricate colloidally stable one-dimensional nanostructures.

PMID 16881647


The present article is devoted to systematically exploring the influence of various experimental variables, including the precursor concentration, the ligand nature, the counterion type, the Cd-to-Te molar ratio, pH, and temperature, on the aqueous growth of CdTe nanocrystals. The growth may be divided into two stages: the early fast growth stage and the later slow growth stage. The later stage is found to be dominated by Ostwald ripening (OR), being strongly dependent on all experimental conditions. In contrast, the early stage is dominated by adding monomers to nanocrystals, which may be dramatically accelerated by lowering precursor concentrations and using ligands with a molecular structure similar to that of thioglycolic acid (TGA). This fast growth stage is similar to that observed during organometallic growth of nanocrystals in hot organic media. On the basis of this finding, one-dimensional wurtzite CdTe nanostructures can be directly prepared in aqueous media by storing rather dilute precursor solution (2.4 mM with reference to ligand) in the presence of TGA at lower temperature (from room temperature to 80 degrees C). A low growth temperature is used to suppress OR during crystal growth. In addition, the simultaneous presence of both TGA-like ligand and 1-thioglycerol or 2-mercaptoethylamine leads to formation of colloidally stable 1D CdTe nanostructures with controlled aspect ratios.

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1-Thioglycerol, ≥97%