Chemistry (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany)

From nanoplates to microtubes and microrods: a surfactant-free rolling mechanism for facile fabrication and morphology evolution of Ag2S films.

PMID 21563220


By a simple and facile wet-chemistry technique without any surfactant, various shapes of Ag(2)S crystals--including leaflike pentagonal nanoplates, crinkly nanoscrolls, hexagonal prismlike microtubes, and microrods--were fabricated in situ on a large-area silver-foil surface separately. Detailed experiments revealed that the Ag(2)S nanoplates were formed just by immersing the silver foil in a sulfur/ethanol solution at room temperature and atmospheric pressure, and they subsequently rolled into nanoscrolls and further grew into microtubes and microrods under solvothermal conditions. Inspired by the natural curling of a piece of foliage, we proposed a surfactant-free rolling mechanism to interpret the observed morphological evolution from lamellar to tubular structures. Based on these simple, practical, and green chemical synthetic routes, we can easily synthesize lamellar, scrolled, tubular, and clubbed Ag(2)S crystals by simply adjusting the reaction temperature, pressure, and time. It is very interesting to note that the current rolling process is quite different from the previous reported rolling mechanism that highly depends on the surfactants; we revealed that the lamellar Ag(2)S could be rolled into tubular structures without using any surfactant or other chemical additives, just like the natural rolling process of a piece of foliage. Therefore, this morphology-controlled synthetic route of Ag(2)S crystals may provide new insight into the synthesis of metal sulfide semiconducting micro-/nanocrystals with desired morphologies for further industrial applications. The optical properties of the pentagonal Ag(2)S nanoplates/film were also investigated by UV/Vis and photoluminescence (PL) techniques, which showed large blue-shift of the corresponding UV/Vis and PL spectra.