The rational design and synthesis of narrow-gap colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs) is an important step toward the next generation of solution-processable photovoltaics, photodetectors, and thermoelectric devices. SnTe NCs are particularly attractive as a Pb-free alternative to NCs of narrow-gap lead chalcogenides. Previous synthetic efforts on SnTe NCs have focused on spherical nanoparticles. Here we report new strategies for synthesis of SnTe NCs with shapes tunable from highly monodisperse nanocubes, to nanorods (NRs) with variable aspect ratios, and finally to long, straight nanowires (NWs). Reaction at high temperature quickly forms thermodynamically favored nanocubes, but low temperatures lead to elongated particles. Transmission electron microscopy studies of reaction products at various stages of the synthesis reveal that the growth and shape-focusing of monodisperse SnTe nanocubes likely involves interparticle ripening, while directional growth of NRs and NWs may be initiated by particle dimerization via oriented attachment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry