Colloidal Synthesis of ZnS, CdS and Zn xCd1−xS Nanoparticles from Zinc and Cadmium Thiobiuret Complexes

Ahmed Lutfi Abdelhady, Mohammad A. Malik, Paul O’Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


ZnS, CdS and ZnxCd1−xS nanoparticles were synthesised from the thermolysis of 1,1,5,5-tetra-iso-propyl-4-thiobiuret complexes of Zn and/or Cd in oleylamine. The influence of the different reaction parameters (precursor concentration, growth temperature, reaction time and injection solvent/capping agent combination) on the size, morphology and optical properties of the produced nanoparticles were studied. ZnS nanoparticles with size smaller than 4.3 nm had the cubic phase whereas the particles with size larger than 4.3 nm had a hexagonal crystal structure as suggested by the selected area electron diffraction. Transmission electron microscopy showed the formation of spherical ZnS nanoparticles in addition to few ZnS nanorods only at growth temperature of 280 °C. Powder X-Ray diffraction (p-XRD) showed that the obtained CdS nanoparticles were cubic under all reaction conditions except when dodecanethiol was used as an injection solvent which produced hexagonal CdS. The change in the crystal structure of the CdS nanoparticles was accompanied with a change in morphology from spherical to triangular. Cubic ZnxCd1−xS nanoparticles were obtained under all reaction conditions. Lattice spacing of the ZnxCd1−xS nanoparticles showed a very good agreement with Vegard’s law. The optical properties of the ZnxCd1−xS nanoparticles were highly dependent on the ZnS to CdS precursor ratio and the solvents/capping agent combinations. This in detail study on the relationship of solvent systems (capping agents), thermolysis temperatures, time of reactions and precursors will help in understanding to control the morphology, size of the crystallites and phase of the materials.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)226-240
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Inorganic and Organometallic Polymers and Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • CdS
  • Colloidal
  • Nanoparticles
  • Thermolysis
  • Thiobiuret complexes
  • ZnCdS
  • ZnS


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