Surface-Initiated Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization Induced Transformation of Selenium Nanowires into Copper Selenide@Polystyrene Core-Shell Nanowires

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"Template Assisted Preparation of High Surface Area Macroporous Supports with Uniform and Tunable Nanocrystal Loadings," Paul, M. T. Y.; Yee, B. B.; Zhang, X.; Alford, E. H.; Pilapil, B. K.; Gates, B. D., Nanoscale, 2019, 11, 1937-1948. DOI: 10.1021/am4023785.

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Copper selenide@polystyrene
Core−shell nanowire
Solid−solid reaction
Template-engaged synthesis
Atom transfer radical polymerization

This Article reports the first preparation of cuprous and cupric selenide nanowires coated with a ∼5 nm thick sheath of polystyrene (copper selenide@polystyrene). These hybrid nanostructures are prepared by the transformation of selenium nanowires in a one-pot reaction, which is performed under ambient conditions. The composition, purity, and crystallinity of the copper selenide@polystyrene products were assessed by scanning transmission electron microscopy, electron energy-loss spectroscopy, X-ray powder diffraction, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy techniques. We determined that the single crystalline selenium nanowires are converted into polycrystalline copper selenide@polystyrene nanowires containing both cuprous selenide and cupric selenide. The product is purified through the selective removal of residual, non-transformed selenium nanowires by performing thermal evaporation below the decomposition temperature of these copper selenides. Powder X-ray diffraction of the purified copper selenide nanowires@polystyrene identified the presence of hexagonal, cubic, and orthorhombic phases of copper selenide. These purified cuprous and cupric selenide@polystyrene nanowires have an indirect bandgap of 1.44 eV, as determined by UV–vis absorption spectroscopy. This new synthesis of polymer-encapsulated nanoscale materials may provide a method for preparing other complex hybrid nanostructures.

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