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Metal and Semiconductor Nanocrystals

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Front. Chem. | doi: 10.3389/fchem.2018.00562

Colloidal Synthesis of Bulk-Bandgap Lead Selenide Nanocrystals

Thuiltha M. Abeywickrama1, Asra Hassan1 and  Preston T. Snee1*
  • 1University of Illinois at Chicago, United States

Lead selenide quantum dots (QDs) are low-bandgap IV-VI semiconducting nanomaterials that have been studied for a variety of applications. Their preparation using colloidal methods can produce small spherical to larger cubic nanocrystals, with an upper limit of ~17 nm reported to date. Here we describe methods for preparing cubic PbSe nanocrystals over a 20→40 nm size range using a twostep procedure. Specifically, ~10 nm PbSe QDs are generated using the rapid injection method, the products from which are overcoated with additional lead and selenium precursors. The use of two lead reagents were studied; lead oleate resulted in a maximum of 20 nm cubes, while more reactive lead hexyldecanoate resulted in much larger nanomaterials with bulk bandgaps. However, PbSe samples prepared with lead hexyldecanoate also contained agglomerates. Special care must be taken when characterizing larger strained nanomaterials with X-ray powder diffraction, for which the Scherrer equation is inadequate. A more rigorous approach using the Williamson-Hall method provides characterizations that are consistent with electron microscopy analysis.

Keywords: Lead selenide (PbSe), Quantum dots (QD), Nanocrystals (NCs), semiconductor, X-ray diff raction analysis

Received: 31 Aug 2018; Accepted: 30 Oct 2018.

Edited by:

Ou Chen, Brown University, United States

Reviewed by:

Huaibin Shen, Key Laboratory for Special Functional Materials, Ministry of Education, Henan University, China
Liangfeng Sun, Bowling Green State University, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Abeywickrama, Hassan and Snee. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Preston T. Snee, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, 60607, Illinois, United States, sneep@uic.edu