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An intrinsic growth instability in isotropic materials leads to quasi-two-dimensional nanoplatelets

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Riedinger Andreas, Ott Florian D., Mule Aniket, Mazzotti Sergio, Knüsel Philippe N., Kress Stephan J. P., Prins Ferry, Erwin Steven C., Norris David J.,
Project Electronic Impurity Doping of Semiconductor Nanocrystals
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Nature Materials
Volume (Issue) 16(7)
Page(s) 743 - 748
Title of proceedings Nature Materials
DOI 10.1038/nmat4889

Open Access

Type of Open Access Green OA Embargo (Freely available via Repository after an embargo)


Colloidal nanoplatelets are atomically flat, quasi-two-dimensional sheets of semiconductor that can exhibit efficient, spectrally pure fluorescence. Despite intense interest in their properties, the mechanism behind their highly anisotropic shape and precise atomic-scale thickness remains unclear, and even counterintuitive for commonly studied nanoplatelets that arise from isotropic crystal structures (such as zincblende CdSe and lead-halide perovskites). Here we show that an intrinsic instability in growth kinetics can lead to such highly anisotropic shapes. By combining experimental results on the synthesis of CdSe nanoplatelets with theory predicting enhanced growth on narrow surface facets, we develop a model that explains nanoplatelet formation as well as observed dependencies on time and temperature. Based on standard concepts of volume, surface, and edge energies, the resulting growth instability criterion can be directly applied to other crystalline materials. Thus, knowledge of this previously unknown mechanism for controlling shape at the nanoscale can lead to broader libraries of quasi-two-dimensional materials.