Salts-based size-selective precipitation: Toward mass precipitation of aqueous nanoparticles


  • Purification is a necessary step before the application of nanocrystals (NCs), since the excess matter in nanoparticles solution usually causes a disadvantage to their subsequent coupling or assembling with other materials. In this work, a novel salts-based precipitation technique is originally developed for the precipitation and size-selective precipitation of aqueous NCs. Simply by addition of salts, NCs can be precipitated from the solution. After decantation of the supernatant solution, the precipitates can be dispersed in water again. By means of adjusting the addition amount of salt, size-selective precipitation of aqueous NCs can be achieved. Namely, the NCs with large size are precipitated preferentially, leaving small NCs in solution. Compared with the traditional nonsolvents-based precipitation technique, the current one is simpler and more rapid due to the avoidance of condensation and heating manipulations used in the traditional precipitation process. Moreover, the salts-based precipitation technique was generally available for the precipitation of aqueous nanoparticles, no matter if there were semiconductor NCs or metal nanoparticles. Simultaneously, the cost of the current method is also much lower than that of the traditional nonsolvents-based precipitation technique, making it applicable for mass purification of aqueous NCs. © 2009 American Chemical Society.

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