Solar Synthesis of PbS-SnS2 Superstructure Nanoparticles Academic Article uri icon


  • We report the synthesis and supporting density-functional-theory computations for a closed-cage, misfit layered-compound superstructure from PbS–SnS2, generated by highly concentrated sunlight from a precursor mixture of Pb, SnS2, and graphite. The unique reactor conditions created in our solar furnace are found to be particularly conducive to the formation of these nanomaterials. Detailed structural and chemical characterization revealed a spontaneous inside-out formation mechanism, with a broad range of nonhollow fullerene-like structures starting at a diameter of ∼20 nm and a wall thickness of ∼5 layers. The computations also reveal a counterintuitive charge transfer pathway from the SnS2 layers to the PbS layers, which indicates that, in contrast to binary-layered compounds where it is principally van der Waals forces that hold the layers together, polar forces appear to be as important in stabilizing superstructures of misfit layered compounds.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015