Solvent-Free Synthesis of Quaternary Metal Sulfide Nanoparticles Derived from Thiourea

Manas K. Bhunia, Edy Abou-Hamad, Dalaver H. Anjum, Andrei Gurinov, Kazuhiro Takanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The synthesis of metal sulfide (MS) materials with sizes in the sub-10 nm regime often requires capping agents with long hydrocarbon chains that affect their structures and properties. Herein, this study presents a molten-state synthesis method for a series of transition-MS nanoparticles using thiourea as a reactive precursor without capping agents. This study also reports the synthesis of MS with single metals (Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, and Zn) and quaternary CuGa2In3S8 using the same synthesis protocol. Thiourea first melts to form a molten-state condition to serve as the reaction medium at a relatively low temperature (<200 °C), followed by its thermal decomposition to induce a reaction with the metal precursor to form different MS. This synthesis protocol, owing to its dynamic characteristics, involves the formation of a variety of organic carbon nitride polymeric complexes around the MS particles. Dynamic nuclear polarization surface-enhanced nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy is effective to identify the polymeric compositions and structures as well as their interactions with the MS. These results provided thorough structural descriptions of the MS nanoparticles surrounded by the carbon nitride species derived from thiourea, which may find various applications, including photocatalytic water splitting.

Original languageBritish English
Article number1700183
JournalParticle and Particle Systems Characterization
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • carbon nitrides
  • metal sulfides
  • reactive precursors
  • solvent-free synthesis
  • thiourea


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