Activated selenium for promoted formation of metal selenide nanocrystals in solvothermal synthesis

Jianfei ZHANG, Shu ZHANG*, Haitao ZHANG, Yange ZHANG, Zhi ZHENG, Yong XIANG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes a convenient route to activate elemental selenium that is suitable to be used in the synthesis of metal selenide nanocrystals through a solvothermal method. Elemental selenium is reduced to highly activated Se 2- by NaBH4 in ethylenediamine under solvothermal conditions. To demonstrate the reactivity of the resulting selenization reagent, CuInSe2 (CIS) nanocrystals are synthesized with significantly promoted reaction kinetics through a solvothermal process, compared with reactions using normal elemental selenium. The promoted reaction rate associated with the activated selenium can be attributed to the homogeneous reaction between Se2- and metal ions and higher activity of Se2- than Se(0). The CIS nanocrystals synthesized with activated Se show single phase constituent, homogeneous particle size and morphology, and reliable photoelectric properties, which are suitable for photovoltaic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-308
Number of pages3
JournalMaterials Letters
Early online date24 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

The authors gratefully acknowledge the National Science Funds of China (Contract no. 51102038), Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Contract nos. ZYGX2011J133 and ZYGX2012J156), and Innovation Fund from the State Key Laboratory of Electronic Thin Films and Integrated Devices (Contract no. CXJJ2010001).


  • Metal selenides
  • Nanocrystalline materials
  • Solar energy materials
  • Sovothermal synthesis


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