Optimized synthetic approach for colloidaly stable Cu3N nanocrystals
Mahsa Parvizian a, Alejandra Durán Balsa a, Rohan Pokratath a, Anna Regoutz b, Jonathan De Roo a
a Department of Chemistry, University of Basel, 4058 Basel, Switzerland
b University College London UCL, Torrington Place, United Kingdom
Proceedings of nanoGe Fall Meeting 2021 (NFM21)
#NCFun21. Fundamental Processes in Nanocrystals and 2D Materials
Online, Spain, 2021 October 18th - 22nd
Organizers: Brandi Cossairt and Jonathan De Roo
Poster, Mahsa Parvizian, 278
Publication date: 23rd September 2021

Copper nitride, Cu3N, nanocrystals are attractive materials with numerous applications ranging from optoelectronics and catalysis to biological applications. Existing colloidal syntheses did not produce in our hand homogenous, monodispersed nanoparticles that are colloidally stable.
In this work, the aim was to optimize the synthesis (and purification) to obtain phase-pure, monodisperse Cu3N nanocubes that are colloidally stable. Various synthesis parameters such as the reaction time and temperature, the reaction media such as the presence of crystalline water and air effect as well as the purification steps were evaluated and the optimal conditions are reported for the synthesis yielding colloidally stable Cu3N nanoparticles of 13.5 ± 1.9 nm size. The nanoparticles were also successfully doped with palladium, yielding Cu3PdN of 10.2 ± 1.4 nm size. Doping with palladium induces a more metallic behavior due to more metal-metal bonds as compared to the starting semiconductor Cu3N. The crystal structure and chemical composition of our obtained nanocrystals were further studied via pair distribution function analysis and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.
Our synthetic method has shown to be highly reproducible in forming colloidally stable Cu3N and Cu3PdN with very low surface oxidation making those nitrides highly interesting for oxygen and CO2 reduction reaction in solution.

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