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J Am Chem Soc. 2003 Nov 5;125(44):13559-63.

Alloyed Zn(x)Cd(1-x)S nanocrystals with highly narrow luminescence spectral width.

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  • 1Department of Materials Science and Chemistry, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117543.


High-quality alloyed Zn(x)Cd(1-x)S nanocrystals have been synthesized at high temperature by the reaction of a mixture of CdO- and ZnO-oleic acid complexes with sulfur in the noncoordinating solvent octadecene system. A series of monodisperse wurtzite Zn(x)Cd(1-x)S (x = 0.10, 0.25, 0.36, 0.53) nanocrystals were obtained with corresponding particle radii of 4.0, 3.2, 2.9, and 2.4 nm, respectively. With the increase of the Zn content, their photoluminescence (PL) spectra blue-shift systematically across the visible spectrum from 474 to 391 nm, indicating the formation of the alloyed nanocrystals. The alloy structure is also supported by the characteristic X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns of these nanoalloys with different Zn mole fractions, in which their diffraction peaks systematically shift to larger angles as the Zn content increases. The lattice parameter c measured from XRD patterns decreases linearly with the increase of Zn content. This trend is consistent with Vegard's law, which further confirms the formation of homogeneous nanoalloys. These monodisperse wurtzite Zn(x)Cd(1-x)S nanoalloys possess superior optical properties with PL quantum yields of 25-50%, especially the extremely narrow room-temperature emission spectral width (full width at half-maximum, fwhm) of 14-18 nm. The obtained narrow spectral width stems from the uniform size and shape distribution, the high composition homogeneity, and the relatively large particle radius, which is close to or somewhat larger than the exciton Bohr radius. The process by which the initial structure with random spatial composition fluctuations turns into an alloy (solid solution) with homogeneous composition is clearly demonstrated by the temporal evolution of the PL spectra during the annealing progress.

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