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The critical role of surfactants towards CdS nanoparticles: synthesis, stability, optical and PL emission properties

Kumar, Sanjay; Gradzielski, Michael; Mehta, S. K.

Cadmium sulfide (CdS) nanoparticles (NPs), prepared by a convenient chemical precipitation method, have been characterized using techniques such as TEM, XRD, zeta potential, absorption and photoluminescence (PL) emission spectroscopy to establish the structure directing role of different cationic and anionic surfactants and their impact on the nanoparticles stabilization. In the synthesis of the CdS NPs, cadmium acetate and sodium sulfide, employed as starting reagents, were dissolved in aqueous solutions of different surfactants to study the effect of their structures on the nucleation, growth, optical and PL emission properties of the NPs. By varying the surfactant species, the CdS NPs have significantly different optical and PL emission properties despite being produced under similar reaction conditions. Depending on the surfactant structure, the growing CdS NPs were stabilized by the surfactants to different extents. For example, in the surfactant with the longest chain length (e.g. cetyltrimethylammonium bromide; CTAB), the CdS NPs were most stable, whereas using a surfactant with a smaller chain length i.e. DTAB, the NPs were unstable for even 1 h. On the other hand, anionic surfactants of even smaller chain lengths were able to stabilize the CdS NPs for quite long times. The generalized study of growth of spherical CdS NPs involves monitoring the kinetics during the progress of the reaction. Additionally, an interesting prominent effect of surfactant structure on the PL emission properties of the NPs has been established under identical reaction conditions.
Published in: RSC Advances : an international journal to further the chemical sciences, 10.1039/c2ra21963h, Royal Society of Chemistry
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  • This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.