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US Researchers propose Chalcogenide solders

Molecular "˜glue' could provide a boost in solar performance

Two polished CdTe crystals soldered with NaCdTe

Researchers at the University of Chicago and the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois have designed molecular 'solders' for semiconductors used in photovoltaics and thermoelectric devices.

They suggest that these new gel-like materials, based on largely unexplored soluble chalcogenides derived from cadmium, lead and bismuth, can bond semiconductor nanoparticles tightly in order to increase their electronic properties. The research appears in the 1 January 2015 issue of Science Express.

By improving the contact between semiconductor interfaces, these molecular solders might be used to tune the optical and electronic properties of semiconductor nanoparticles, according to Dmitriy Dolzhnikov and his colleagues.

They suggest that their findings might be used to explore new opportunities in printable electronics and optoelectronics.

Specifically, Dolzhnikov and his team used CdSe nanocrystals with Na2Cd2Se3 solder as a soluble precursor for CdSe films with electron mobilities exceeding 300 cm2 per volt-second. CdTe, PbTe and Bi2Te3 powders were molded into various shapes in the presence of a small additive of composition-matched chalcogenidometallate or chalcogel, thus opening new design spaces for semiconductor technologies.

'Composition-matched molecular "solders" for semiconductors' by Dmitriy S. Dolzhnikov et al, was published in Science Express,  DOI: 10.1126/science.1260501

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