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Cation Exchange Reactions in Ionic Nanocrystals

Science  05 Nov 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5698, pp. 1009-1012
DOI: 10.1126/science.1103755

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Abstract

Cation exchange has been investigated in a wide range of nanocrystals of varying composition, size, and shape. Complete and fully reversible exchange occurs, and the rates of the reactions are much faster than in bulk cation exchange processes. A critical size has been identified below which the shapes of complex nanocrystals evolve toward the equilibrium shape with lowest energy during the exchange reaction. Above the critical size, the anion sublattice remains intact and the basic shapes of the initial nanocrystals are retained throughout the cation exchange. The size-dependent shape change can also be used to infer features of the microscopic mechanism.

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