Javier Vela-Becerra (Iowa State) - Harvard-MIT Inorganic Chemistry Seminar

Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at 4:15pm to 5:15pm

Harvard University, Pfizer Lecture Hall

Alkaline-Earth Chalcogenide Nanocrystals: Synthesis and Characterization


Professor Javier Vela
Iowa State University

Increasing demand for effective energy conversion materials and devices has renewed interest in semiconductors comprised of earth-abundant and biocompatible elements. Alkaline-earth sulfides doped with rare earth ions are versatile optical materials. However, relatively little is known about controlling the dimensionality, surface chemistry, and inherent optical properties of the undoped versions of alkaline-earth mono- and polychalcogenides. We have developed the colloidal synthesis of alkaline-earth chalcogenide nanocrystals through a reaction of metal carboxylates with carbon disulfide or selenourea. Systematic exploration of the synthetic phase space allows us to tune particle sizes over a wide range using a mixture of commercially available carboxylate precursors. Solid-state NMR spectroscopy confirms the phase purity of the selenide compositions. Surface characterization reveals that bridging carboxylates and amines preferentially terminate the surface of the nanocrystals. While these materials are colloidally stable in the mother solution, the selenides are susceptible to oxidation over time, eventually degrading to selenium metal through polyselenide intermediates. The colloidal chemistry presented here may enable the synthesis of more complex, multinary chalcogenide materials containing alkaline-earth elements.

Reference: ACS Nano 2022, 16, 8, 12024–12035.

Event Type


Events By Interest


Events By School

School of Science


Inorganic Chemistry Seminar

Department of Chemistry
Contact Email


Add to my calendar

Recent Activity