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Synthesis and Characterization of Colloidal Beta-HgS Quantum Dots



K A. Higginson, M Kuno, John E. Bonevich, S B. Qadri, M Yousuf, H Mattoussi


High-quality colloidal mercury sulfide quantum dots (QDs) are synthesized at room temperature using a synthetic strategy combining the effects of strongly binding Hg(II) ligands with a two-phase metal/chalcogen precursor compartmentalization scheme. This combination allows us to overcome the rapid precipitation of bulk HgS in preparations using only weakly binding Hg(II) ligands and the reduction of mercury which occurs when only strongly binding ligands are used to slow the growth kinetics. Both the linear absorption and complementary band edge emission of the synthesized HgS QDs exhibit narrow size dependent transitions in the range between 500 nm and 800 nm with complementary sizes ranging from 2.5 to 5 nm. The metastable zincblende phase of HgS is verified by wide-angle x-ray diffraction showing the intrinsic tunability of the QD optical properties given the (bulk) zero energy band gap of b-HgS. Growth of the QDs can be arrested by subsequent addition of Cd or Zn to the surface after which the QDs can be stabilized with long-chain thiols or amines.
Journal of Physical Chemistry B
No. 39


chalcogen, ligand, optical properties, quantum dot, synthesis, transmission electron microscopy, x-ray


Higginson, K. , Kuno, M. , Bonevich, J. , Qadri, S. , Yousuf, M. and Mattoussi, H. (2002), Synthesis and Characterization of Colloidal Beta-HgS Quantum Dots, Journal of Physical Chemistry B (Accessed February 28, 2024)
Created September 30, 2002, Updated October 12, 2021