Size Dependence of Doping by a Vacancy Formation Reaction in Copper Sulfide Nanocrystals

Orian Elimelech, Jing Liu, Anna M. Plonka, Anatoly I. Frenkel*, Uri Banin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Doping of nanocrystals (NCs) is a key, yet underexplored, approach for tuning of the electronic properties of semiconductors. An important route for doping of NCs is by vacancy formation. The size and concentration dependence of doping was studied in copper(I) sulfide (Cu2S) NCs through a redox reaction with iodine molecules (I2), which formed vacancies accompanied by a localized surface plasmon response. X-ray spectroscopy and diffraction reveal transformation from Cu2S to Cu-depleted phases, along with CuI formation. Greater reaction efficiency was observed for larger NCs. This behavior is attributed to interplay of the vacancy formation energy, which decreases for smaller sized NCs, and the growth of CuI on the NC surface, which is favored on well-defined facets of larger NCs. This doping process allows tuning of the plasmonic properties of a semiconductor across a wide range of plasmonic frequencies by varying the size of NCs and the concentration of iodine. Controlled vacancy doping of NCs may be used to tune and tailor semiconductors for use in optoelectronic applications.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)10335-10340
Number of pages6
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number35
StatePublished - 21 Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research leading to these results received funding through the NSF-BSF International Collaboration in Chemistry program. O.E., J.L., A.M.P., A.I.F., and U.B. acknowledge support of this work by NSF Grant No. CHE-1719534 and BSF Grant No. 2013/610. Use of the National Synchrotron Light Source II (beamline 28-ID-2) was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under Contract No. DE-SC0012704. XAFS experiments were performed at the DuPont-Northwestern-Dow Collaborative Access Team (DND-CAT) located at Sector 5 of the Advanced Photon Source (APS). DND-CAT is supported by Northwestern University, E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., and The Dow Chemical Company. XAFS measurements used resources of the APS, a DOE Office of Science User Facility operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • copper sulfide nanocrystals
  • doping
  • surface plasmon resonance
  • vacancies


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