As performance and functionality requirements for solution-processed nanomaterials become more stringent and demanding, there is an ever-growing need for hierarchical nanostructures with sophisticated architecture and complex composition. However, the production of structurally complex nanomaterials is often not possible by direct synthesis. In this work, we describe synthetic methodology to covalently link presynthesized anisotropic semiconductor nanoparticles of different composition in a stoichiometrically controlled manner via specific facet sites at room temperature. We demonstrate that CdSe nanorods can be cojoined with CdTe tetrapods via a competitive cation-exchange process with Ag+ that results in linking between the tips of the tetrapod arms with only one end of each nanorod via a Ag2Se−Ag2Te interface. This selective linking was
engineered by having a large fraction of CdSe nanorods present in the reaction, which sterically hindered homolinking between Ag2Se-tipped CdSe nanorods and Ag2Te-tipped CdTe tetrapods with themselves. Cation back-exchange with Cd2+ and a size-selective purification to remove unlinked products yields samples enriched in heterolinked CdTe tetrapod−CdSe nanorod structures. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy confirmed the structure and composition of the nanorod-linked tetrapods, while time-resolved and pump-dependent photoluminescence data were consistent with a type II band offset at the CdTe−CdSe interface. The synthetic approach to colloidal nanoheterostructures described here is highly distinct from traditional methods involving a series of nucleation and growth steps at elevated temperature.
A*STAR Science & Engineering Research Council Public Sector Funding (Project no. 142100076)