Structures and mechanisms in the growth of hybrid Ru-Cu 2S nanoparticles: From cages to nanonets

Kathy Vinokurov, Janet E. MacDonald, Uri Banin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Combining metal and semiconductor segments with well-defined morphologies on a single hybrid nanoparticle provides functionality benefiting from the joint and possibly also synergetic properties of the disparate components. We have recently reported the synthesis of a novel family of Ru nano-inorganic caged (NICed) copper(I) sulfide hybrid nanoparticles, which were grown through a mechanism of selective edge growth of the Ru on the copper(I) sulfide seeds. In this work we investigate the effect of reaction conditions on the Ru-Cu 2S products. There is an extraordinary sensitivity to reaction temperature in which four product structures were discovered upon varying the reaction temperature from 190 to 220 °C. The products changed from homogeneous nuclei of Ru along with the free Cu 2S seed at lower temperature, to Ru nano-inorganic caged copper(I) sulfide, to long thin Ru structures protruding from the seed surface at the higher temperature range. The resulting materials were imaged and characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), high-resolution TEM (HRTEM), high-angle annular dark field-scanning TEM (HAADF-STEM), and powder Xray diffraction. Differential scanning calorimetric (DSC) analysis of the Cu 2S template nanoparticles revealed an endothermic peak at the specific temperature for selective edge growth of Ru, and was assigned to a surface change on the seed particle. Competition between homogeneous nucleation of the secondary material Ru and heterogeneous nucleation on the seed Cu 2S nanoparticle leading to a rich reaction landscape is discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1822-1827
Number of pages6
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number10
StatePublished - 22 May 2012


  • cages
  • copper sulfide
  • hybrid nanoparticles
  • ruthenium
  • selective growth


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