Exceptionally Mild Reactive Stripping of Native Ligands from Nanocrystal Surfaces by Using Meerwein’s Salt


  • We gratefully acknowledge A. Dong and E. Chan for helpful discussions regarding the manuscript, A. Brand for development of the PbSe synthesis, S. Doris for assistance with ICP-AES, A. Hammack for assistance with XPS, Z. Liu (beamline 9.3.2) and A. Hexemer (beamline 7.3.3) of the Advanced Light Source for assistance with XPS and GISAXS, respectively, and K. Kjoller of Anasys Instruments for nano-IR analysis. This work was funded in part by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program (A.L.) and by the DOE Early Career Research program (D.J.M.) and work was completed at the Molecular Foundry, supported by the Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, of the U.S. Department of Energy under contract no. DE-AC02-05CH11231.


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Ole-ain't: Trialkyl oxonium salts are universal reagents for native-ligand stripping of carboxylate- (e.g., oleate-), phosphonate-, and amine-passivated nanocrystal thin films and dispersions to give bare or BF4/DMF-passivated surfaces. Meerwein-activated PbSe nanocrystal thin films (see picture) show hole mobilities of about 2–4 cm2 V−1 s−1, which suggest applications of this process in fabricating high-performance devices.