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Couples of colloidal semiconductor nanorods formed by self-limited assembly


Colloidal nanocrystal synthesis provides a powerful approach for creating unique nanostructures of relevance for applications. Here, we report that wurtzite ZnSe nanorod couples connected by twinning structures can be synthesized by means of a self-limited assembly process. Unlike for individual nanorods, the band-edge states calculated for the nanorod couples are predominantly confined to the short edges of the structure and this leads to low photoluminescence polarization anisotropy, as confirmed by single-particle fluorescence. Through a cation-exchange approach, the composition of nanorod couples can be readily expanded to additional materials, such as CdSe and PbSe. We anticipate that this family of nanorod-couple structures with distinct compositions and controlled properties will constitute an ideal system for the investigation of electronic coupling effects between individual nanorod components on the nanoscale, with relevance to applications in optics, photocatalysis and optoelectronic devices.

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Figure 1: Electron microscopy images of ZnSe nanorod couples.
Figure 2: Structural characterization of ZnSe nanorod couples.
Figure 3: Mechanistic study of the formation of ZnSe nanorod couples.
Figure 4: Level structure and optical properties of nanorod couples compared with nanorods.
Figure 5: Control of the features of nanorod couples.


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The research leading to these results has received financial support from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)/ERC grant agreement no. (246841). U.B. thanks the Alfred and Erica Larisch Memorial Chair. G.J. thanks the NSFC (11004177) for travel support. A.S. thanks the Fulbright foundation for their support.

Author information




G.J. and U.B. designed the experiments and wrote the manuscript. G.J. carried out the experiments, materials characterization and analysis. A.S. carried out the electronic structure calculations. I.H. and G.B.H. carried out single-particle photoluminescence polarization and AFM measurements. Y.B. performed the calculation of interactions between two nanorods. Y.A. carried out SEM measurements. I.P. assisted with HRTEM measurements and structural analysis. All authors discussed the data and the mechanisms, and commented on the manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Amit Sitt or Uri Banin.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Jia, G., Sitt, A., Hitin, G. et al. Couples of colloidal semiconductor nanorods formed by self-limited assembly. Nature Mater 13, 301–307 (2014).

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