Steps forward in nano-synthesis

Conventional chemistry techniques have been employed to make an important range of bismuth-based materials for nanotechnology applications.  

The three bismuth compounds, Bi2E3 (where E is either sulfur, selenium or tellurium) have applications in semiconductors. Until now there has been no single route that can be used to make all three materials.  

Paul O'Brien and Paul Christian from the University of Manchester, UK, have designed a simple method using conventional chemistry techniques to make these bismuth compounds. The method involves heating bismuth acetate and elemental S, Se or Te, together under traditional reflux conditions. 

This general route will help gain a better understanding about how chemical processes affect the growth and morphology of these important nanomaterials. O'Brien and Christian now intend to apply their method to a wider range of materials. 

Ruth Needham 



P Christian and P O'Brien, J. Mater. Chem., 2005, 15, 3021 (DOI: 10.1039/b503073k)