Sb-Triggered β-to-α Transition: Solvothermal Synthesis of Metastable α-Cu2Se

Feng JIA, Shu ZHANG*, Xiaokun ZHANG, Xiaoli PENG, Haitao ZHANG, Yong XIANG*

*Corresponding author for this work

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


Control over phase stabilities during synthesis processes is of great importance for both fundamental studies and practical applications. We describe herein a facile strategy for the synthesis of Cu2Se with phase selectivity through a simple solvothermal method. In the presence and absence of SbCl3, monoclinic α-Cu2Se and cubic β-Cu2Se can be synthesized, respectively. The formation of α-Cu2Se requires optimization of the Cu/Se molar ratio in the starting reagents, the reaction temperature, as well as the timing for the addition of SbCl3. Differential scanning calorimetry of the synthesized α-Cu2Se has shown that a part of it undergoes a phase transition to β-Cu2Se at 135 °C, and that this phase transition is irreversible on cooling to ambient temperature. Kinetic studies have revealed that in the presence of Sb species the kinetically favored β-Cu2Se transforms to the thermodynamically favored α-Cu2Se. In this β-to-α phase transition process, the distribution of Cu ions in β-Cu2Se, as determined by the Cu/Se ratio and temperature, is likely to play a crucial role.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15941-15946
Number of pages6
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number48
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This project is supported by the National Science Funds of China (Contract No. 51102038), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Contract No. ZYGX2012 J156), and the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University.


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