In Situ Synthesis of PbS Nanocrystals in Polymer Thin Films from Lead(II) Xanthate and Dithiocarbamate Complexes: Evidence for Size and Morphology Control

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  • External authors:
  • Edward A Lewis
  • Paul Mcnaughter
  • Zhongjie Yin
  • Yiqiang Chen
  • John R Brent
  • Selina A Saah
  • James Raftery
  • Johannes A M Awudza
  • Paul O'Brien


Lead sulfide has been grown from single molecular precursors within a polymer matrix to form networks of PbS nanocrystals. These materials are model systems for the processing of polymer–nanoparticle layers for flexible hybrid photovoltaic devices. Processing is achieved by spin coating a solution containing the precursor and polymer onto a substrate, followed by heating of the film to decompose the precursor. The effect of precursor chemistry has been explored using lead(II) dithiocarbamates, their 1,10-phen adducts, and lead(II) xanthates with different alkyl chain lengths (butyl, hexyl, and octyl). The xanthates were found to be more promising precursors giving control over nanocrystal size and shape on variation of the alkyl chain length. The lead(II) octyl xanthate complex causes anisotropic growth, forming PbS nanowires within the polymer matrix.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2127-2136
Number of pages10
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number6
StatePublished - 13 Feb 2015