Synthesis and characterization of high-quality ZnS, ZnS:Mn2+, and ZnS:Mn2+/ZnS (core/shell) luminescent nanocrystals

Inorg Chem. 2007 Feb 19;46(4):1354-60. doi: 10.1021/ic061917n. Epub 2007 Jan 23.


High-quality ZnS, ZnS:Mn2+, and ZnS:Mn2+/ZnS (core/shell) nanocrystals (NCs) were synthesized via a high-boiling solvent process and characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and photoluminescence (PL) spectra. The monodisperse ZnS NCs (size = 8 nm), which self-assembled into several micrometer-sized domains, were achieved by adopting poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) in the reaction process (without using a size-selection process). The obtained ZnS:Mn2+ and ZnS:Mn2+/ZnS core/shell NCs are highly crystalline and quasimonodisperse with an average particle size of 6.1 and 8.4 nm, respectively. All of the as-formed NCs can be well dispersed in hexane to form stable and clear colloidal solutions, which show strong visible emission (blue for ZnS and red-orange for ZnS:Mn2+ and ZnS:Mn2+/ZnS) under UV excitation. The growth of a ZnS shell on ZnS:Mn2+ NCs, that is, the formation of ZnS:Mn2+/ZnS core/shell NCs, resulted in a 30% enhancement in the PL intensity with respect to that of bare ZnS:Mn2+ NCs due to the elimination of the surface defects.