Institute of Crystallography - CNR

Halide perovskites as disposable epitaxial templates for the phase-selective synthesis of lead sulfochloride nanocrystals

Colloidal chemistry grants access to a wealth of materials through simple and mild reactions. However, even few elements can combine in a variety of stoichiometries and structures, potentially resulting in impurities or even wrong products. Similar issues have been long addressed in organic chemistry by using reaction-directing groups, that are added to a substrate to promote a specific product and are later removed. Inspired by such approach, we demonstrate the use of CsPbCl3 perovskite nanocrystals to drive the phase-selective synthesis of two yet unexplored lead sulfochlorides: Pb3S2Cl2 and Pb4S3Cl2. When homogeneously nucleated in solution, lead sulfochlorides form Pb3S2Cl2 nanocrystals. Conversely, the presence of CsPbCl3 triggers the formation of Pb4S3Cl2/CsPbCl3 epitaxial heterostructures. The phase selectivity is guaranteed by the continuity of the cationic subnetwork across the interface, a condition not met in a hypothetical Pb3S2Cl2/CsPbCl3 heterostructure. The perovskite domain is then etched, delivering phase-pure Pb4S3Cl2 nanocrystals that could not be synthesized directly.

Nature communications
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Toso S.; Imran M.; Mugnaioli E.; Moliterni A.; Caliandro R.; Schrenker N.J.; Pianetti A.; Zito J.; Zaccaria F.; Wu Y.; Gemmi M.; Giannini C.; Brovelli S.; Infante I.; Bals S.; Manna L.