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Colloidal branched semiconductor nanocrystals: state of the art and perspectives

Colloidal branched semiconductor nanocrystals: state of the art and perspectives
Colloidal branched semiconductor nanocrystals: state of the art and perspectives
Colloidal inorganic nanocrystals are versatile nanoscale building blocks.Advances in their synthesis have yielded
nanocrystals with various morphologies including spheres, polyhedra, rods, disks, sheets, wires, and a wide range of
branched shapes. Recent developments in chemical methods have allowed the synthesis of colloidal nanocrystals made of
sections of different inorganic materials connected together. Many research groups are investigating these nanocrystals’
structural and photophysical properties experimentally and theoretically, and many have examined their prospects for
commercial applications. Branched nanocrystals, in particular, are gaining attention, in part for their potential applications
in solar cells or electronic devices. In this Account, we review recent developments in synthesis and controlled assembly
of colloidal branched nanocrystals.Synthesis of branched nanocrystals builds on previous work with spherical nanocrystals and
nanorods, but a unique factor is the need to control the branching event. Multiple arms can branch from a nucleus, or secondary
branches can form from a growing arm. Branching can be governed by mechanisms including twinning, crystal splitting, polymorphism,
oriented attachment, and others. One of the most relevant parameters is the choice of appropriate surfactant molecules, which can
bind selectively to certain crystal facets or can even promote specific crystallographic phases during nucleation and growth. Also,
seeded growth approaches recently have allowed great progress in the synthesis of nanocrystals with elaborate shapes. In this approach,
nanocrystals with a specified chemical composition, size, shape, crystalline habit, and phase act as seeds on which multiple branches
of a second material nucleate and grow. These approaches yield nanostructures with improved homogeneity in distribution of branch
length and cross section. Ion exchange reactions allow further manipulation of branched nanocrystals by transforming crystals of
one material into crystals with the same size, shape, and anion sublattice but with a new cation. Combining seeded growth with ion
exchange provides a method for greatly expanding the library of branched nanocrystals.Assembly of morphologically complex
nanocrystals is evolving in parallel to developments in chemical synthesis. While researchers have made many advances in the past
decade in controlled assembly of nanocrystals with simple polyhedral shapes, modeling and experimental realization of ordered
superstructures of branched nanocrystals are still in their infancy. In the only case of ordered superstructure reported so far,
the assembly proceeds by steps in a hierarchical fashion, in analogy to several examples of assembly found in nature. Meanwhile,
disordered assemblies of branched nanocrystals are also interesting and may find applications in various fields.
0001-4842
1387-1396
Li, Hongbo
1433df0f-55ee-495a-b9ec-e47af0d36952
Kanaras, Antonios G.
667ecfdc-7647-4bd8-be03-a47bf32504c7
Manna, Liberato
887c7089-35b3-4ba3-b7a5-ae62e7ae9d36
Li, Hongbo
1433df0f-55ee-495a-b9ec-e47af0d36952
Kanaras, Antonios G.
667ecfdc-7647-4bd8-be03-a47bf32504c7
Manna, Liberato
887c7089-35b3-4ba3-b7a5-ae62e7ae9d36

Li, Hongbo, Kanaras, Antonios G. and Manna, Liberato (2013) Colloidal branched semiconductor nanocrystals: state of the art and perspectives. Accounts of Chemical Research, 46 (7), 1387-1396. (doi:10.1021/ar3002409).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Colloidal inorganic nanocrystals are versatile nanoscale building blocks.Advances in their synthesis have yielded
nanocrystals with various morphologies including spheres, polyhedra, rods, disks, sheets, wires, and a wide range of
branched shapes. Recent developments in chemical methods have allowed the synthesis of colloidal nanocrystals made of
sections of different inorganic materials connected together. Many research groups are investigating these nanocrystals’
structural and photophysical properties experimentally and theoretically, and many have examined their prospects for
commercial applications. Branched nanocrystals, in particular, are gaining attention, in part for their potential applications
in solar cells or electronic devices. In this Account, we review recent developments in synthesis and controlled assembly
of colloidal branched nanocrystals.Synthesis of branched nanocrystals builds on previous work with spherical nanocrystals and
nanorods, but a unique factor is the need to control the branching event. Multiple arms can branch from a nucleus, or secondary
branches can form from a growing arm. Branching can be governed by mechanisms including twinning, crystal splitting, polymorphism,
oriented attachment, and others. One of the most relevant parameters is the choice of appropriate surfactant molecules, which can
bind selectively to certain crystal facets or can even promote specific crystallographic phases during nucleation and growth. Also,
seeded growth approaches recently have allowed great progress in the synthesis of nanocrystals with elaborate shapes. In this approach,
nanocrystals with a specified chemical composition, size, shape, crystalline habit, and phase act as seeds on which multiple branches
of a second material nucleate and grow. These approaches yield nanostructures with improved homogeneity in distribution of branch
length and cross section. Ion exchange reactions allow further manipulation of branched nanocrystals by transforming crystals of
one material into crystals with the same size, shape, and anion sublattice but with a new cation. Combining seeded growth with ion
exchange provides a method for greatly expanding the library of branched nanocrystals.Assembly of morphologically complex
nanocrystals is evolving in parallel to developments in chemical synthesis. While researchers have made many advances in the past
decade in controlled assembly of nanocrystals with simple polyhedral shapes, modeling and experimental realization of ordered
superstructures of branched nanocrystals are still in their infancy. In the only case of ordered superstructure reported so far,
the assembly proceeds by steps in a hierarchical fashion, in analogy to several examples of assembly found in nature. Meanwhile,
disordered assemblies of branched nanocrystals are also interesting and may find applications in various fields.

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Published date: 16 July 2013
Organisations: Quantum, Light & Matter Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 358648
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/358648
ISSN: 0001-4842
PURE UUID: 7fabf8b9-f85b-4b8e-8f1a-25e74f209576
ORCID for Antonios G. Kanaras: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9847-6706

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Date deposited: 10 Oct 2013 16:24
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:37

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