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Large Scale Metal Chalcogenide (e.g. Copper Sulfide) Nanoparticle Synthesis


Project TitleLarge Scale Metal Chalcogenide (e.g. Copper Sulfide) Nanoparticle Synthesis
Track Code6874
Short Description

We offer a method to synthesize high-quality metal chalcogenide (e.g. copper sulfide, cadmium sulfide, etc.) nanoparticles. Our method has demonstrated several orders of magnitude increase in batch yield (>200 g) compared to current 0.1−5g efforts.


Large scale implementation of nanoparticle-based technologies requires efficient and robust synthesis methods that can consistently produce large quantities of high-quality nanoparticles. We offer a method that meets these criteria; our method is based on the ‘heat-up method’ and uses previously unexplored high concentrations near the solubility limit of the nanoparticle precursors. In this highly concentrated and viscous regime the nanoparticle synthesis parameters are less sensitive to experimental variability and thereby provide a robust and scalable synthesis for monodisperse sized nanoparticles.


As a proof of concept, we demonstrate the ability to synthesize high-quality copper sulfide nanoparticles approaching nearly a 1000-fold increase in Cu2−xS batch size (>200 g yields) relative to current 0.1−5g efforts. Compared to conventional synthesis methods (typically hot injection with dilute precursor concentration) that rely on rapid growth and result in low yields, our highly concentrated nanoparticle system permits remarkably controlled growth rates, a 10-fold increase in nanoparticle volumetric production capacity (86 g/L) and highly monodisperse size distributions.

Potential Applications

  • Quantum Dot Synthesis
  • Large scale synthesis of:
  • Copper Sulfide (Cu2-xS)
  • Copper Indium Sulfide (CuInS)
  • Lead Sulfide (PbS)
  • Cadmium Sulfide (CdS)
  • Cu, Pb, Cd, In or Zn Tellurides and Selenides


  • Narrow distribution of particle sizes
  • Production quantity scalable
  • Suitable for a diverse range of Metal Chalcogenides



Keywords: Physical Sciences, Chemicals, Catalysts, Materials, Metals, Surface Science, Nanotechnology, Industrial Nanofabrication, Nanoapplications, Nanoparticle Synthesis, Metal Oxides, Metal Chalcogenides

TagsIndustrial Nanofabrication, materials, Metal Chalcogenides, metal oxides, Nanoapplications, nanoparticle synthesis, surface science, physical sciences, Optics & Photonics, Device Manufacturing, thin film, Conductive Film
Posted DateSep 14, 2017 10:46 AM


Tobias Hanrath
Richard Robinson
Curtis Williamson
Douglas Nevers

Additional Information

· C. Williamson, D. Nevers, T. Hanrath, R.D. Robinson. “Prodigious Effects of Concentration Intensification on Nanoparticle Synthesis: A High-Quality, Scalable Approach” J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2015, 137 (50), pp 15843–15851 DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b10006

· R.D. Robinson, T. Hanrath, C. Williamson, D. Nevers. “Dimensionally focused nanoparticle synthesis methodology” Patent Application Number: WO2016054527A1

Licensing Contact

Carolyn A. Theodore
607 254 4514


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