NANOMATERIALS

Subtleties of growing iron sulfides

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Science  13 Oct 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6360, pp. 184-185
DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6360.184-f

Pyrrhotite (Fe7S8) prepared from the precursor phenyl disulfide

PHOTO: J. M. RHODES ET AL., CHEM. MATER. 10.1021/ACS.CHEMMATER.7B03550 (2017) © 2017 AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY

Many recipes for growing colloidal nanoparticles exist, but achieving full control over the final products can be challenging, even for well-studied systems. This is particularly true for iron sulfides, for which there exist numerous phase variations with only small differences in stoichiometry. Rhodes et al. found that the formation of sulfur-rich phases correlated with lower C-S bond strength in the organosulfur precursors. However, phases also were affected by the decomposition pathway of the precursor, which could be influenced by using oleylamine as a solvent, because it can also act as a coordinating ligand and a reducing agent. FeS2 or pyrite only formed when using the weakest precursor, diallyl disulfide, and it formed directly, without requiring a FeS intermediate.

Chem. Mater. 10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b03550 (2017).

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