PerspectiveChemistry

All Change for Nanocrystals

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Science  24 May 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6135, pp. 935-936
DOI: 10.1126/science.1239221

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Summary

Until recently, to prepare nanocrystals of a new material, scientists searched their shelves for the appropriate molecular precursors, surfactants, and solvents. They then optimized the reaction conditions for the atoms to self-assemble into monodisperse nanocrystals (1). This approach is being replaced by a simpler strategy, in which preformed nanocrystals serve as templates to produce nanoparticles with a different composition through chemical transformation. On page 964 of this issue, Oh et al. (2) report a powerful mechanism that allows the composition of oxide nanoparticles to be transformed in solution and at low temperatures.