Ternary ACd4P3(A = Na, K) Nanostructures via a Hydride Solution-Phase Route

Alan M. Medina-Gonzalez, Philip Yox, Yunhua Chen, Marquix A.S. Adamson, Maranny Svay, Emily A. Smith, Richard D. Schaller, Aaron J. Rossini, Javier Vela*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Complex pnictides such as I-II4-V3 compounds (I = alkali metal; II = divalent transition metal; V = pnictide element) display rich structural chemistry and interesting optoelectronic properties, but can be challenging to synthesize using traditional high-temperature solid-state synthesis. Soft chemistry methods can offer control over particle size, morphology, and properties. However, the synthesis of multinary pnictides from solution remains underdeveloped. Here, we report the colloidal hot-injection synthesis of ACd4P3 (A = Na, K) nanostructures from their alkali metal hydrides (AH). Control studies indicate that NaCd4P3 forms from monometallic Cd0 seeds and not from binary Cd3P2 nanocrystals. IR and ssNMR spectroscopy reveal tri-n-octylphosphine oxide (TOPO) and related ligands are coordinated to the ternary surface. Computational studies show that competing phases with space group symmetries R3¯ m and Cm differ by only 30 meV/formula unit, indicating that synthetic access to either of these polymorphs is possible. Our synthesis unlocks a new family of nanoscale multinary pnictide materials that could find use in optoelectronic and energy conversion devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-139
Number of pages10
JournalACS Materials Au
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 10 2021


  • I-II-V
  • hydride
  • nanostructures
  • solution phase
  • ternary semiconductor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


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