Size- and Shape-Dependent Phase Transformations in Wurtzite ZnS Nanostructures

R S C Publications
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2012, 14 (28), pp. 9871 - 9879
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This paper describes the equilibrium morphologies of zinc sulfide nanoparticles in the wurtzite phase as a function of size, determined using ab initio Density Functional Theory (DFT) simulations and a shape-dependent thermodynamic model predicting the Gibbs free energy of a nanoparticle. We investigate the relative stabilities of a variety of nanoparticle shapes based on the wurtzite structure and show how the aspect ratio of wurtzite nanorods moderates the size-dependent phase transformation to the zinc blende phase. We find that while wurtzite nanoparticles are thermodynamically unstable with respect to the low energy rhombic dodecahedron morphology in the zinc blende phase at all sizes, shape- and size-dependent phase transformations occur when other zinc blende morphologies are present. Despite popular synthesis of zinc sulphide nanoparticles in the wurtzite phase, an in-depth thermodynamic study relating to the relative stability of wurtzite shapes and comparison with the zinc blende phase does not exist. Therefore this is the first thermodynamic study describing how shape can determine the solid phase of zinc sulfide nanostructures, which will be of critical importance to experimental applications of nanostructured zinc sulfide, where phase and shape determines properties.
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