In this route, simple inorganic salts that replace expensive organic metal compounds were chosen as the metal source. These salts are dissolved in a polar solvent. Next, sulphur and alkyamine dissolved in a non-polar solvent are injected into the polar solution at high temperature and stirred vigorously. Dispersed microdrops form immediately.

The alkyamine facilitates transfer of the metal ion from the polar solvent to the non-polar solvent. Nanocrystal nucleation and growth occur within the microdrop. As a result, the nanocrystals are well dispersed in the non-polar solvent. The polar solvent can be reused in new, subsequent synthesis cycles because the metal ions are completely transferred to the non-polar solvent.

More information can be found in the journal Nanotechnology.