Composition-matched molecular “solders” for semiconductors

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Science  23 Jan 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6220, pp. 425-428
DOI: 10.1126/science.1260501

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Soldering semiconductor nanoparticles

The optical and electronic properties of semiconductor nanoparticles can be tuned through changes in their size and composition. However, poor contact between interfaces can degrade nanoparticle performance in devices. Dolzhnikov et al. report the synthesis of a gel-like “solder” for metal chalcogenide nanoparticles, such as cadmium selenide and lead telluride, by cross-linking molecular wires of these materials.

Science, this issue p. 425


We propose a general strategy to synthesize largely unexplored soluble chalcogenidometallates of cadmium, lead, and bismuth. These compounds can be used as “solders” for semiconductors widely used in photovoltaics and thermoelectrics. The addition of solder helped to bond crystal surfaces and link nano- or mesoscale particles together. For example, CdSe nanocrystals with Na2Cd2Se3 solder was used as a soluble precursor for CdSe films with electron mobilities exceeding 300 square centimeters per volt-second. CdTe, PbTe, and Bi2Te3 powders were molded into various shapes in the presence of a small additive of composition-matched chalcogenidometallate or chalcogel, thus opening new design spaces for semiconductor technologies.

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