Issue Date: January 22, 2007
Sizing up nano-MoS2 properties
Particle size is key to the stabilities and electronic properties of molybdenum disulfide nanoparticles with fullerene-like structures, according to a combined experimental and theoretical investigation (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2007, 46, 623). The materials, which are under study for use as solid lubricants and in other applications, were probed via high-resolution electron microscopy, quantum mechanical calculations, and other techniques by a team of researchers based at the Technical University of Dresden and the Rossendorf Research Center, both in Germany, and at the Weizmann Institute of Science, in Israel. One of the main findings is that large MoS2 nanoparticles with diameters greater than about 10 nm, such as nanoplatelets, nanotubes, and quasi-spherical nanoparticles, are semiconductors, as is bulk MoS2. In contrast, hollow octahedral MoS2 fullerenes (shown) with diameters of about 3-7 nm are predicted to be metallic. The researchers also report that single-walled MoS2 fullerenes with octahedral shapes consisting of only a few hundred atoms are unstable, but larger multiwalled octahedra consisting of thousands of atoms are stable.
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