Evolution of self-assembled ZnTe magic-sized nanoclusters

Jun Zhang, Clare Rowland, Yuzi Liu, Hui Xiong, Soongu Kwon, Elena Shevchenko, Richard D. Schaller, Vitali B. Prakapenka, Sergey Tkachev, Tijana Rajh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Three families of ZnTe magic-sized nanoclusters (MSNCs) were obtained exclusively using polytellurides as a tellurium precursor in a one-pot reaction by simply varying the reaction temperature and time only. Different ZnTe MSNCs exhibit different self-assembling or aggregation behavior, owing to their different structure, cluster size, and dipole-dipole interactions. The smallest family of ZnTe MSNCs (F323) does not reveal a crystalline structure and as a result assembles into lamellar triangle plates. Continuous heating of as synthesized ZnTe F323 assemblies resulted in the formation of ZnTe F398 MSNCs with wurzite structure and concomitant transformation into lamellar rectangle assemblies with the organization of nanoclusters along the 〈002〉 direction. Further annealing of ZnTe F398 assembled lamellar rectangles leads to full organization of MSNCs in all directions and formation of larger ZnTe F444 NCs that spontaneously form ultrathin nanowires following an oriented attachment mechanism. The key step in control over the size distribution of ZnTe ultrathin nanowires is, in fact, the growth mechanism of ZnTe F398 MSNCs; namely, the step growth mechanism enables formation of more uniform nanowires compared to those obtained by continuous growth mechanism. High yield of ZnTe nanowires is achieved as a result of the wurzite structure of F398 precursor. Transient absorption (TA) measurements show that all three families possess ultrafast dynamics of photogenerated electrons, despite their different crystalline structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)742-749
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 21 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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