ACS nano

The importance of nanocrystal precursor conversion kinetics: mechanism of the reaction between cadmium carboxylate and cadmium bis(diphenyldithiophosphinate).

PMID 23043371


We describe the synthesis of cadmium bis(diphenyldithiophosphinate) (Cd(S(2)PPh(2))(2)) from secondary phosphine sulfides and its conversion to cadmium sulfide nanocrystals. Heating Cd(S(2)PPh(2))(2) and cadmium tetradecanoate (≥4 equiv) to 240 °C results in complete conversion of Cd(S(2)PPh(2))(2) to cadmium sulfide nanocrystals with tetradecanoate surface termination. The nanocrystals have a narrow size distribution (d = 3.8-4.1 nm, σ < 10%) that is evident from the line width of the lowest energy absorption feature (λ = 412-422 nm, fwhm = 0.17 eV) and display bright photoluminescence (PLQY(band edge+trap) = 36%). Interestingly, the final diameter is insensitive to the reaction conditions, including the total concentration of precursors and initial cadmium to sulfur ratio. Monitoring the reaction with (31)P NMR, UV-visible, and infrared absorption spectroscopies shows that the production of cadmium diphenylphosphinate (Cd(O(2)PPh(2))(2)) and tetradecanoic anhydride co-products is coupled with the formation of cadmium sulfide. From these measurements we propose a balanced chemical equation for the conversion reaction and use it to optimize a synthesis that affords CdS nanocrystals in quantitative yield. In light of these results we discuss the importance of well-defined precursor reactivity to reproducible conversion kinetics and the synthesis of nanocrystals with unambiguous chemical composition.

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