Chem Mater. 2022 Dec 27;34(24):10849-10860. doi: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.2c01838. Epub 2022 Dec 12.
Finding simple, easily controlled, and flexible synthetic routes for the preparation of ternary and hybrid nanostructured semiconductors is always highly desirable, especially to fulfill the requirements for mass production to enable application to many fields such as optoelectronics, thermoelectricity, and catalysis. Moreover, understanding the underlying reaction mechanisms is equally important, offering a starting point for its extrapolation from one system to another. In this work, we developed a new and more straightforward colloidal synthetic way to form hybrid Au-Ag2X (X = S, Se) nanoparticles under mild conditions through the reaction of Au and Ag2X nanostructured precursors in solution. At the solid-solid interface between metallic domains and the binary chalcogenide domains, a small fraction of a ternary AuAg3X2 phase was observed to have grown as a consequence of a solid-state electrochemical reaction, as confirmed by computational studies. Thus, the formation of stable ternary phases drives the selective hetero-attachment of Au and Ag2X nanoparticles in solution, consolidates the interface between their domains, and stabilizes the whole hybrid Au-Ag2X systems.