Res. Chem. Intermed.
, Vol. 33, No. 1–2, pp. 111–124 (2007)
Also available online - www.brill.nl/rci
Synthesis and characterization of tin telluride
inorganic/organic composite materials with nanoscale
periodicity through solution-phase self-assembly:
a new class of composite materials based
on Zintl cluster self-oligomerization
ANDREW E. RILEY and SARAH H. TOLBERT
Department of Chemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
Received 24 February 2004; revised 8 May 2004
Abstract—In this work, we demonstrate the synthesis of semiconducting tin telluride inorganic/orga-
nic composite materials with nanoscale periodicity prepared using solution phase self-assembly.
Oligomerization of anionic SnTe
clusters by halogen-mediated tellurium elimination in the pres-
ence of surfactant leads to the formation of a meosotructured composite. The composites initially
forms as a mixture of mesophases, usually some combination of a layered phase and a phase based
on cylindrical building blocks. Post synthetic treatment leads to a solid-state structural change which
converts the composites to a single mesophase architecture with a hexagonal honeycomb (p6mm)
morphology on the nanometer length scale. A byproduct of this reaction, however, is bulk tellurium.
Changes in the electronic structure of the materials during synthesis and solid-state restructuring are
probed using electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy.
Keywords: Composite materials; semiconducting; halogen-mediated tellurium elimination; ESR.
Solution-phase self-assembled inorganic/organic composites with nanoscale peri-
odicity are a class of materials which have grown from the pioneering work on
silica/surfactant systems [1, 2] These materials take advantage of electrostatic at-
tractions between inorganic oligomers and organic structure directing agents in so-
lution to form periodic inorganic structures with nanoscale order. While the general
concepts of self assembly allow for the synthesis of systems with a wide variety of
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