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Materials

Indium Antimonide Nanoparticles Now Available

Colloidal synthesis methods can now be used to prepare size-selected nanoparticle samples of the III-V semiconductor

by Mitch Jacoby
December 24, 2012 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 90, ISSUE 52

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Credit: J. Am. Chem. Soc.
Uniform-sized samples of InSb nanoparticles (about 4 nm wide in this TEM image) can now be prepared via colloidal methods.
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Credit: J. Am. Chem. Soc.
Uniform-sized samples of InSb nanoparticles (about 4 nm wide in this TEM image) can now be prepared via colloidal methods.

Indium antimonide has taken its place among III-V semiconductors that can be prepared as uniform-sized nanocrystals via colloidal synthesis methods, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (DOI: 10.1021/ja309821j). The investigation may lead to new types of infrared emitters and detectors and other applications that exploit properties exhibited exclusively by nanoscale crystals. InSb boasts record-setting electron mobility values and other outstanding electronic properties. Currently, the material is prepared in bulk and thin-film forms via standard semiconductor crystal growth methods and some complex vapor deposition techniques. For about a decade, researchers have tried with little success to use common chemical synthesis methods to prepare size-selected InSb nanocrystals. Chemists Wenyong Liu and Dmitri V. Talapin of the University of Chicago and coworkers now report success in that endeavor. The team reacted InCl3 with an antimony precursor in oleylamine in the presence of lithium triethylborohydride. By tweaking reaction conditions and reagent ratios, the team tailored the crystal size in the 3- to 7-nm-diameter range and confirmed size uniformity via microscopy, photoluminescence spectroscopy, and other methods.

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