Open Access Nano Express

Semiconducting properties of layered cadmium sulphide-based hybrid nanocomposites

Zoraya López-Cabaña12, Clivia Marfa Sotomayor Torres345 and Guillermo González12*

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Sciences, Universidad de Chile, P.O. Box 653, Santiago, Chile

2 Centre of Development of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (CEDENNA) Santiago, Chile

3 Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology (ICN-CIN2), Campus UAB Edifici CM7, 08193-Bellatera, Barcelona, Spain

4 Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA), 08010 Barcelona, Spain

5 Department of Physics, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, 081093 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:523  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-523

Published: 6 September 2011

Abstract

A series of hybrid cadmium salt/cationic surfactant layered nanocomposites containing different concentrations of cadmium sulphide was prepared by exchanging chloride by sulphide ions in the layered precursor CdXx(OH)y(CnTA)z in a solid phase/gas reaction, resulting in a series of layered species exhibiting stoichiometries corresponding to CdSvXx(OH)y(CnTA)z, constituted by two-dimensional CdCl2/CdS ultra-thin sheets sandwiched between two self-assembled surfactant layers. The electronic structure of CdS in the nanocomposite is similar to that of bulk, but showing the expected features of two-dimensional confinement of the semiconductor. The nanocomposite band gap is found to depend in a non-linear manner on both the length of the hydrocarbon chain of the surfactant and the concentration of the sulphide in the inorganic sheet. The products show photocatalytic activity at least similar and usually better than that of "bulk" CdS in a factor of two.