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Jeffrey I. Zink Inorganic Chemistry Seminar Series – Prof. Chenjie Zeng

Divisional Seminars, Inorganic

June 5, 2024 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


Flyer: Prof. Chenjie Zeng Flyer

Title: Precision Synthesis of Semiconductor Nanoclusters: Combining Coordination, Cluster, and Colloidal Chemistry at the Nanoscale

Abstract: Advancing precision synthesis from the molecular scale to the nanoscale is crucial for atomic-level engineering of nanocrystals for their applications in energy, information, and biomedical nanotechnologies. However, precision nanosynthesis has been a significant challenge due to the structural complexity of nanomaterials. A colloidal nanocrystal contains ~10s to ~10,000s of atoms in the core, metal-ligand coordination complexes at the interfaces, and organic molecules on the surfaces. Correspondingly, nanocrystal synthesis involves numerous collisions, exchanges, and reorganizations at hierarchical levels, leading to entangled kinetics and energy landscape from ~1 kJ/mol (intermolecular interactions) to ~1000 kJ/mol (covalent bonds). Here, I will demonstrate our recent progress in combining coordination, cluster, and colloidal chemistry to achieve precision synthesis of atomically defined semiconductor nanoclusters. The development of precise nanoscale reactions has enabled us to answer some important questions in semiconductor nanochemistry, including (i) how the surface of nanocrystals is collaboratively passivated by different types of ligands, (ii) the origin of chirality and polarity in semiconductor nanostructures, (iii) the precise correlation between the excitonic transitions and electronic structures, and (iv) the atomic level insights into the intricate reaction mechanisms at the nanoscale. We expect that precision nanosynthesis will provide a designable approach to access a library of atomically precise semiconductor nanocrystals with tailored properties, thus enhancing their existing applications or enabling emergent ones.