The heat-up synthesis of colloidal nanocrystals

Joel van Embden, Anthony S. R. Chesman, Jacek J. Jasieniak

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

240 Citations (Scopus)


The successful transition of any nanocrystal-based product from the research phase to the commercial arena hinges on the ability to produce the required nanomaterial on large scales. The synthesis of colloidal nanocrystals using a heat-up (non-injection) method is a reliable means to achieve high quality nanomaterials on large scales with little or no batch-to-batch variation. In this class of synthesis precursors are heated within a reaction medium to induce a chemical reaction that yields monomer for nucleation and growth. Use of the heat-up technique circumvents the pitfalls of mixing time and poor heat management inherent to classical "hot-injection" methods. In heat-up syntheses monomer is produced in a more continuous fashion during the heating stage, making it more difficult to separate the nucleation and growth stages of the reaction, a factor that is conventionally considered detrimental toward achieving homogeneous colloidal dispersions. However, through the judicious selection of precursors, stabilizers, and reaction heating rates, these stages can be managed to yield colloids of comparable quality to those achieved via classical hot-injection methods. In this review we provide the reader with a fundamental basis upon which to understand the reaction requirements for achieving such favorable growth conditions. Given that the most important consideration in these reactions is precursor (and stabilizer) selection, we also provide an exposition of the precursor chemistry appropriate to achieving high quality products when using heat-up techniques. These topics form the foundation for critically evaluating the field of heat-up nanocrystal synthesis to date, including the synthesis of binary, ternary, and quaternary metal chalcogenide and pnictogenide nanocrystals, as well as metallic, metal oxide, and f-block conaining nanocrystals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2246-2285
Number of pages40
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes

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