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Title: Structure and Reactivity of II–VI and III–V Magic-Sized Clusters: Understanding and Expanding the Scope of Accessible Form and Function
In nanoscale chemistry, magic-sized clusters (MSCs) stand out for their precise atomic configurations and privileged stability, offering unprecedented insights into the atomic-level structure of ligand-capped nanocrystals and a gateway to new synthesis and functionality. This article explores our efforts to shed light on the structure and reactivity of II-VI and III-V semiconductor MSCs. We have specifically been interested in the synthesis, isolation, and characterization of MSCs implicated as key intermediates in the synthesis of semiconductor quantum dots. Our exploration into their synthesis, structure, transformation, and reactivity provides a roadmap to expand the scope of accessible semiconductor clusters with diverse structures and properties. It paves the way for tailor-made nanomaterials with unprecedented atom-level control. In these studies, atomic level structure has been deduced through advanced characterization methods, including single-crystal and powder X-ray diffraction, complemented by pair distribution function analysis, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and vibrational spectroscopy. We have identified two distinct families of CdSe MSCs with zincblende and wurtzite-like structures. We have also characterized two members of the wurtzite-like family of InP clusters and a related InAs cluster. Our research has revealed intriguing structural homologies between II-VI and III-V MSCs. These findings contribute to our fundamental understanding of semiconductor MSCs and hint at broader implications for phase control at the nanoscale and the synthesis of novel nanomaterials. We have also explored three distinct pathways of cluster reactivity, including cluster interconversion mediated by controlling the chemical potential of the reaction environment, both seeded and single source precursor growth mechanisms to convert MSCs into larger nanostructures, and cation exchange to access new cluster compositions that are precursors to nanocrystals that may be challenging or impossible to access from traditional bottom-up nucleation and growth. Together with the collective efforts of other researchers in the field of semiconductor cluster chemistry, our work establishes a strong foundation for predicting and controlling the form and function of semiconductor MSCs. By highlighting the role of surface chemistry, stoichiometry, and dopant incorporation in determining cluster properties, our work opens exciting possibilities for the design and synthesis of new materials. The insights gained through these efforts could significantly impact the future of nanotechnology, particularly in areas like photonics, electronics, and catalysis.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2107237
NSF-PAR ID:
10514142
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
American Chemical Society
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Accounts of Materials Research
ISSN:
2643-6728
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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