Effect of Trace Water on the Growth of Indium Phosphide Quantum Dots


We report that trace amounts of water impurities in indium myristate precursors can negatively impact indium phosphide nanoparticle growth by limiting its size tunability. Without water, the growth can be effectively tuned by growth temperature and time with the first absorption peak reaching 620 nm; with water, the growth presents a “focused” behavior with the first absorption peak remaining around 550 nm. The results imply that water impurities, either from indium acetate derived indium precursors or generated in situ during nanoparticle growth, may be the cause of the currently observed inhibited growth behavior of indium phosphide quantum dots. We use multistage microfluidic reactors to show that this inhibiting effect occurs at the late stage of particle growth, following precursor depletion. We extend our study by showing that trace amounts of free hydroxide can also inhibit nanoparticle growth. We attribute the inhibited growth behavior to the hydroxylation effect of water or free hydroxide

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