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Zinc Phosphide Quantum Dots: Towards Sustainable Nanomaterials

Research project selected under the 2020 call for proposals

Principal Investigator : Fabien DELPECH

Involved Teams :

  • CEMES / I3EM

Type of project : Collaborative Project

Date (start/end) : 2020 – 2023

X-Rays Diffractogram (inset: HRTEM) (a), 31P MAS NMR spectrum (b), UV-Vis (blue) and photoluminescence emission (red) spectra (c) and low-resolution TEM Image (inset: histogram) (d) of Zn3P2 nanocrystals

The quest of exploring alternative materials for the replacement of toxic cadmium- and lead-based quantum dots (QDs), is necessary for envisaging a sustainable future but remains highly challenging. Tackling this issue, this proposal, which involves 4 research groups of LPCNO, CEMES and LHFA, aims at synthesizing high-quality Zn3P2 nanocrystals (NCs). The sought features are (i) narrow emission line widths, (ii) enlarged emission spectral range, (iii) high fluorescence quantum yields (QY) and (iv) long-term air stability to achieve Cd-free QDs relevant for next generation photovoltaics (PV), optoelectronic devices photocatalysts and biological labels. The development of our novel synthetic approaches, based on specifically-designed precursors, will rely on coupling complementary up-to-date characterization studies from atomic and molecular scales to macroscopic optical properties to provide a comprehensive overview of the correlations between synthesis/structure/physical and chemical properties.