Heavy-Metal-Free Colloidal Semiconductor Nanorods: Recent Advances and Future Perspectives

Adv Mater. 2019 Jun;31(25):e1900781. doi: 10.1002/adma.201900781. Epub 2019 May 7.


Quasi-1D colloidal semiconductor nanorods (NRs) are at the forefront of nanoparticle (NP) research owing to their intriguing size-dependent and shape-dependent optical and electronic properties. The past decade has witnessed significant advances in both fundamental understanding of the growth mechanisms and applications of these stimulating materials. Herein, the state-of-the-art of colloidal semiconductor NRs is reviewed, with special emphasis on heavy-metal-free materials. The main growth mechanisms of heavy-metal-free colloidal semiconductor NRs are first elaborated, including anisotropic-controlled growth, oriented attachment, solution-liquid-solid method, and cation exchange. Then, structural engineering and properties of semiconductor NRs are discussed, with a comprehensive overview of core/shell structures, alloying, and doping, as well as semiconductor-metal hybrid nanostructures, followed by highlighted practical applications in terms of photocatalysis, photodetectors, solar cells, and biomedicine. Finally, challenges and future opportunities in this fascinating research area are proposed.

Keywords: alloying; growth mechanisms; heavy-metal free; semiconductor nanorods; zinc chalcogenides.

Publication types

  • Review