Open Access Nano Express

Large-scale synthesis of highly emissive and photostable CuInS2/ZnS nanocrystals through hybrid flow reactor

Jun Lee and Chang-Soo Han*

Author Affiliations

School of Mechanical Engineering, Korea University, Seoul, Korea

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:78  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-78

Published: 17 February 2014


We report a high-yield, low-cost synthesis route to colloidal CuInS2/ZnS (CIS/ZnS) nanocrystals (NCs) with Cu vacancies in the crystal lattice. Yellow-emitting CIS/ZnS core/shell NCs of high luminescence were facilely synthesized via a stepwise, consecutive hybrid flow reactor approach. It is based on serial combination of a batch-type mixer and a flow-type furnace. In this reactor, the flow rate of the solutions was typically 1 mL/min, 100 times larger than that of conventional microfluidic reactors. This method can produce gram quantities of material with a chemical yield in excess of 90% with minimal solvent waste. This is a noninjection-based approach in 1-dodecanethiol (DDT) with excellent synthetic reproducibility and large-scale capability. The optical features and structure of the obtained CIS/ZnS NCs have been characterized by UV–vis and fluorescence spectroscopies, X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). The resulting CIS/ZnS NCs in chloroform exhibit quantum yield (QY) of 61.4% with photoemission peaking at 561 nm and full width at half maximum (FWHM) of 92 nm. The as-synthesized CIS/ZnS NCs were proven to have excellent photostability. The synthesized CIS/ZnS NCs can be a promising fluorescent probe for biological imaging and color converting material for light-emitting diode due to Cd-free constituents.

CuInS2/ZnS nanocrystals; Hybrid flow reactor; Large-scale synthesis; Photostability