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A general strategy for nanocrystal synthesis


New strategies for materials fabrication are of fundamental importance in the advancement of science and technology1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12. Organometallic13,14 and other organic solution phase15,16,17 synthetic routes have enabled the synthesis of functional inorganic quantum dots or nanocrystals. These nanomaterials form the building blocks for new bottom-up approaches to materials assembly for a range of uses; such materials also receive attention because of their intrinsic size-dependent properties and resulting applications18,19,20,21. Here we report a unified approach to the synthesis of a large variety of nanocrystals with different chemistries and properties and with low dispersity; these include noble metal, magnetic/dielectric, semiconducting, rare-earth fluorescent, biomedical, organic optoelectronic semiconducting and conducting polymer nanoparticles. This strategy is based on a general phase transfer and separation mechanism occurring at the interfaces of the liquid, solid and solution phases present during the synthesis. We believe our methodology provides a simple and convenient route to a variety of building blocks for assembling materials with novel structure and function in nanotechnology13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29.

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Figure 1: TEM images of nanocrystals.
Figure 2: XRD patterns of nanocrystals.
Figure 3
Figure 4: Cyclohexane solutions of nanoparticles with a typical concentration of 2%.


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This work was supported by NSFC, the Foundation for the Author of National Excellent Doctoral Dissertation of China and the State Key Project of Fundamental Research for Nanomaterials and Nanostructures.

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Correspondence to Yadong Li.

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Supplementary Notes

This file contains the following sections: Part I, particle size distributions analysis of the nanocrystals; Part II, EDS analysis of the nanocrystals; Part III, detailed experimental conditions for distinct class of nanocrystals with certain composition and sizes; Part IV, nanocrystals obtained by employing different solvents instead of ethanol; Part V, magnetic characterization of MFe2O4 nanocrystals, Uv-vis spectra of Ag nanocrystals with different sizes, Visible-to-naked-eyes green upconversion emissions from NaYF4 nanocrystals; Part VI, synthesis and characterization of New-type Nanocrystals. (DOC 3070 kb)

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Wang, X., Zhuang, J., Peng, Q. et al. A general strategy for nanocrystal synthesis. Nature 437, 121–124 (2005).

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