NANOMATERIALS

Ionic charge manages transformation

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Science  05 Dec 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6214, pp. 1196
DOI: 10.1126/science.346.6214.1196-f

One way to create nanoparticles that otherwise are difficult to synthesize de novo is to swap out the cations of existing nanoparticles. De Trizio et al. show that the transformation of colloidal copper selenide (Cu2-xSe) nanoparticles with tin (Sn) ions leads to vastly different products for Sn2+ versus Sn4+. The smaller Sn4+ ions move readily through the Cu2-xSe lattice. The homogeneous transformation stops at Cu2SnSe3 and retains a cubic lattice. The larger Sn2+ cations are blocked, and regions of SnS form at the surface; the stress created at the interface of this heterogeneous nanoparticle drives the distortion of Se anion lattice that allows orthorhombic SnS to form.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 10.1021/ja508161c (2014).

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