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Title: Solution-Based Synthesis of Sulvanite Cu3TaS4 and Cu3TaSe4 Nanocrystals
Sulvanites have the parent formula Cu3MCh4. The metal M belongs to group 5 and Ch is a chalcogen. The tantalum sulvanites Cu3TaS4 and Cu3TaSe4 are predicted to have wide band gaps and p-type conductivity and show promise in optoelectronic applications. Their potential as p-type transparent conductors or efficient photocatalysts for visible-light water splitting is a valuable incentive to explore these materials in their nanoscale form, toward bottom-up processing opportunities. Reported herein are the first syntheses of nanosized Cu3TaS4 and Cu3TaSe4 sulvanites, which preserve the parent cubic crystal structure but show that morphology at the nanoscale is dependent of the reaction conditions. The two solution-based methods for synthesizing the tantalum S and Se sulvanites result in Cu3TaS4 or Cu3TaSe4 nanocrystals (NCs) with prismatic morphology, or, in the case of Cu3TaSe4, could lead to core-shell spherical nanostructures. The Cu3TaS4 NCs and Cu3TaSe4 NCs have good absorption in the UV-Vis region, while the Cu3TaSe4 core-shell NCs possess broad absorption bands not only in the UV-Vis but also in the near-infrared region. Photoluminescence measurements of Cu3TaS4 and Cu3TaSe4 reveal optical bandgaps of 2.54 and 2.32 eV, respectively, consistent with the values measured in bulk. Additionally, the current–voltage (I-V) curve of Cu3TaS4 NCs proves its electrical conductivity.  more » « less
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National Science Foundation
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