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Shape-Controlled Synthesis of PbS Nanocrystals via a Simple One-Step Process

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journal contribution
posted on 27.11.2012, 00:00 by Yu Wang, Aiwei Tang, Kai Li, Chunhe Yang, Miao Wang, Haihang Ye, Yanbing Hou, Feng Teng
A one-step colloidal process was adopted to prepare face-centered-cubic PbS nanocrystals with different shapes such as octahedral, starlike, cubic, truncated octahedral, and truncated cubic. The features of this approach avoid the presynthesis of any organometallic precursor and the injection of a toxic phosphine agent. A layered intermediate compound (lead thiolate) forms in the initial stage of the reaction, which effectively acts as the precursor to decompose into the PbS nanocrystals. The size and shape of the PbS nanocrystals can be easily controlled by varying the reaction time, the reactant concentrations, the reaction temperatures, and the amount of surfactants. In particular, additional surfactants other than dodecanethiol, such as oleylamine, oleic acid, and octadecene, play an important role in the shape control of the products. The possible formation mechanism for the PbS nanocrystals with various shapes is presented on the basis of the different growth directions of the nanocrystals with the assistance of the different surfactants. This method provides a facile, low-cost, highly reproducible process for the synthesis of PbS nanocrystals that may have potential applications in the fabrication of photovoltaic devices and photodetectors.