Alkylthiol-enabled Se powder dissolution in oleylamine at room temperature for the phosphine-free synthesis of copper-based quaternary selenide nanocrystals

J Am Chem Soc. 2012 May 2;134(17):7207-10. doi: 10.1021/ja300064t. Epub 2012 Apr 19.


Enhancement of Se solubility in organic solvents without the use of alkylphosphine ligands is the key for phosphine-free synthesis of selenide semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs). In this communication, we demonstrate the dissolution of elemental Se in oleylamine by alkylthiol reduction at room temperature, which generates soluble alkylammonium selenide. This Se precursor is highly reactive for hot-injection synthesis of selenide semiconductor NCs, such as Cu(2)ZnSnSe(4), Cu(InGa)Se(2), and CdSe. In the case of Cu(2)ZnSnSe(4), for example, the as-synthesized NCs possessed small size, high size monodispersity, strong absorbance in the visible region, and in particular a promising increase in photocurrent under AM1.5 illumination. The current preparation of the Se precursor is simple and convenient, which will promote the synthesis and practical applications of selenide NCs.