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Formation of asymmetric one-sided metal-tipped semiconductor nanocrystal dots and rods

Abstract

Multicomponent nanoparticles represent a new approach for creating smart materials, requiring the development of the growth of different material types on one particle. Here, we report the synthesis of asymmetric metal–semiconductor heterostructures where gold is grown on one side of CdSe nanocrystal quantum rods and dots, creating nanostructures offering intrinsic asymmetry for diverse device functionalities such as diode elements, along with one-sided chemical accessibility through the gold tips. Surprisingly, one-sided growth is preceded by two-sided growth and is generally observed in different particle shapes. Theoretical modelling in a lattice-gas model and experimental analysis show that a ripening process drives gold from one end to the other, transforming two-sided growth to one-sided growth. Ripening is therefore occurring on the nanostructure itself, leading to a phase-segregated structure. This thereby extends the realm of ripening phenomena and their significance in nanostructure synthesis, in particular for nanocrystals composed of different materials.

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Figure 1: One-sided gold tips grown on CdSe nanocrystals of different shapes and sizes.
Figure 2: Effect of increasing Au/rod molar ratio on the growth.
Figure 3: Behaviour of growth onto dots and long rods as a function of gold concentration.
Figure 4: Simulation of the growth dynamics of the gold on the nanocrystal.
Figure 5: Gold growth kinetics.
Figure 6: Gold growth experiment on tetrapods, experiment versus simulation and on rods with a defect.

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Acknowledgements

We thank I. Popov from the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology for the HRTEM measurement. We thank A. Willenz from the Electron Microscopy Lab, the Life Sciences Institute, for assistance in TEM measurements. This work was supported in part by the EU under the program SA-NANO and by the US–Israel Binational Science Foundation. T.M. acknowledges support of the Ministry of Science, Israel.

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Correspondence to Eran Rabani or Uri Banin.

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Mokari, T., Sztrum, C., Salant, A. et al. Formation of asymmetric one-sided metal-tipped semiconductor nanocrystal dots and rods. Nature Mater 4, 855–863 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat1505

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