Mar 10, 2009
Microwaves serve up nanostuctured chalcogenides and chalcogens
Researchers at Nanjing University have recently developed microwave-assisted methods for the preparation of nanostructured chalcogenides and chalcogens, such as Sb2Se3 submicron rods, Sb2Te3 hexagonal nanoplates, Bi2Te3 nanoplates, tellurium nanowires, selenium nanowires, and Se-Te alloy nanorods, directly from the corresponding chalcogens powders. Compared with conventional methods, microwave-based synthesis has the advantages of a short reaction time, small particle size, narrow particle size distribution and high purity.
In their recent work published in Nanotechnology, the group describes a microwave-assisted polyol method for synthesizing Sb2Se3 rods with diameters of 100–200 nm in which the antimony colloid reduced by ethylene glycol reacts in situ with selenium powder. Microwave irradiation was shown to greatly promote the reaction. Without microwaves, the production of Sb2Se3 was significantly slower even under solvothermal conditions.
The researchers have also developed a general and template-free "disproportionation and reversal" route to prepare tellurium nanowires, selenium nanowires and Se-Te alloy nanorods directly from the corresponding chalcogen powder.
About the author
Dr Jun-Jie Zhu is a professor of Chemistry and vice-dean of the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University. His group works in the fields of analytical chemistry and synthesis of nanoparticles. Dr Bo Zhou has received the doctoral degree in Nanjing University and is currently an associate professor in Nanjing Normal University. She works on the synthesis of nanoparticles.