Spotlight Publication: “Alkyl Selenol Reactivity with Common Solvents and Ligands: Influences on Phase Control in Nanocrystal Synthesis” published in Nanoscale
“Alkyl Selenol Reactivity with Common Solvents and Ligands: Influences on Phase Control in Nanocrystal Synthesis” published in Nanoscale has been selected as a VINSE spotlight publication.
About the authors: In his honors project in the chemistry laboratory of Assoc. Prof. Janet Macdonald, undergraduate Eric Ho examined the synthesis of copper selenide nanocrystals. Eric closely looked at the molecular changes happening to his alkyl selenol reagent in solution before the crystals formed. He cleverly used techniques more commonly used by organic chemists than nanocrystal researchers. Eric earned his bachelors in May of 2021 with honors in Chemistry, and won the Chemistry department’s highest honor of the Outstanding Senior Award. When Eric graduated, Tony Peng, a rising sophomore, stepped into the lab over the summer and fall to help expanded the scope of the study.
The two undergraduate researchers identified how the underappreciated molecular chemistry was one of the important deciding factors in the crystalline phase of copper selenide that formed. It is one of the first times that anyone has controlled phase in a such complex material with a deep understanding of the whys behind it. Their discovery and careful analysis will aid the synthesis to copper selenides, and a large family of related metal selenides with technological applications ranging from thermoelectrics to solar cells.
The paper is published in Nanoscale in a series of invited contributions for emerging investigators. While the editors intended the “emerging investigator” to imply Dr. Macdonald, Eric and Tony are certainly names to watch! Eric has started graduate school in chemistry at Emory University, and Tony is continuing his studies in Chemistry and Cognitive Studies at Vanderbilt.