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Science ; 363(6428): 731-735, 2019 02 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30765565


Structural transformations in molecules and solids have generally been studied in isolation, whereas intermediate systems have eluded characterization. We show that a pair of cadmium sulfide (CdS) cluster isomers provides an advantageous experimental platform to study isomerization in well-defined, atomically precise systems. The clusters coherently interconvert over an ~1-electron volt energy barrier with a 140-milli-electron volt shift in their excitonic energy gaps. There is a diffusionless, displacive reconfiguration of the inorganic core (solid-solid transformation) with first order (isomerization-like) transformation kinetics. Driven by a distortion of the ligand-binding motifs, the presence of hydroxyl species changes the surface energy via physisorption, which determines "phase" stability in this system. This reaction possesses essential characteristics of both solid-solid transformations and molecular isomerizations and bridges these disparate length scales.

J Am Chem Soc ; 140(10): 3652-3662, 2018 03 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29376343


Magic-sized clusters (MSCs) are renowned for their identical size and closed-shell stability that inhibit conventional nanoparticle (NP) growth processes. Though MSCs have been of increasing interest, understanding the reaction pathways toward their nucleation and stabilization is an outstanding issue. In this work, we demonstrate that high concentration synthesis (1000 mM) promotes a well-defined reaction pathway to form high-purity MSCs (>99.9%). The MSCs are resistant to typical growth and dissolution processes. On the basis of insights from in situ X-ray scattering analysis, we attribute this stability to the accompanying production of a large (>100 nm grain size), hexagonal organic-inorganic mesophase that arrests growth of the MSCs and prevents NP growth. At intermediate concentrations (500 mM), the MSC mesophase forms, but is unstable, resulting in NP growth at the expense of the assemblies. These results provide an alternate explanation for the high stability of MSCs. Whereas the conventional mantra has been that the stability of MSCs derives from the precise arrangement of the inorganic structures (i.e., closed-shell atomic packing), we demonstrate that anisotropic clusters can also be stabilized by self-forming fibrous mesophase assemblies. At lower concentration (<200 mM or >16 acid-to-metal), MSCs are further destabilized and NPs formation dominates that of MSCs. Overall, the high concentration approach intensifies and showcases inherent concentration-dependent surfactant phase behavior that is not accessible in conventional (i.e., dilute) conditions. This work provides not only a robust method to synthesize, stabilize, and study identical MSC products but also uncovers an underappreciated stabilizing interaction between surfactants and clusters.

Chem Commun (Camb) ; 53(19): 2866-2869, 2017 Mar 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28218315


Optoelectronic properties of nanoparticles are intimately coupled to the complex physiochemical interplay between the inorganic core and the organic ligand shell. Magic-sized clusters, which are predominately surface atoms, provide a promising avenue to clarify these critical surface interactions. Whereas these interactions impact the surface of both nanoparticles and magic-sized clusters, we show here that only clusters manifest a shift in the excitonic peak by up to 0.4 eV upon solvent or ligand treatment. These results highlight the utility of the clusters as a probe of ligand-surface interactions.

J Am Chem Soc ; 137(50): 15843-51, 2015 Dec 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26592380


Realizing the promise of nanoparticle-based technologies demands more efficient, robust synthesis methods (i.e., process intensification) that consistently produce large quantities of high-quality nanoparticles (NPs). We explored NP synthesis via the heat-up method in a regime of previously unexplored high concentrations near the solubility limit of the precursors. We discovered that in this highly concentrated and viscous regime the NP synthesis parameters are less sensitive to experimental variability and thereby provide a robust, scalable, and size-focusing NP synthesis. Specifically, we synthesize high-quality metal sulfide NPs (<7% relative standard deviation for Cu2-xS and CdS), and demonstrate a 10-1000-fold increase in Cu2-xS NP production (>200 g) relative to the current field of large-scale (0.1-5 g yields) and laboratory-scale (<0.1 g) efforts. Compared to conventional synthesis methods (hot injection with dilute precursor concentration) characterized by rapid growth and low yield, our highly concentrated NP system supplies remarkably controlled growth rates and a 10-fold increase in NP volumetric production capacity (86 g/L). The controlled growth, high yield, and robust nature of highly concentrated solutions can facilitate large-scale nanomanufacturing of NPs by relaxing the synthesis requirements to achieve monodisperse products. Mechanistically, our investigation of the thermal and rheological properties and growth rates reveals that this high concentration regime has reduced mass diffusion (a 5-fold increase in solution viscosity), is stable to thermal perturbations (∼64% increase in heat capacity), and is resistant to Ostwald ripening.