Direct synthesis of ultrasmall PbS nanocrystals passivated with a metal-halide-perovskite monolayer

04 August 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Inorganic shelling is a key strategy to address unwanted, surface-mediated non-radiative pathways in semiconductor nanocrystals. Improved passivation particularly advances the use of the smallest nanocrystals, because complex photophysics arise as nanomaterials approach the molecular limit. However, shelling strategies developed for larger/more-robust nanocrystals are not always applicable in this size regime. Herein we introduce the direct synthesis of ultrasmall (ø<2 nm) PbS nanocrystals shelled with a range of metal-halide perovskite monolayers by employing the appropriate two-dimensional perovskite as a precursor at the point of nanocrystal growth. These passivated nanocrystals possess improved photoluminescence quantum yields; reduced dynamic spectral red-shifting after photoexcitation; and longer, more-monoexponential photoluminescence dynamics—consistent with a reduction in defect-mediated exciton-phonon coupling. We then apply these shelled, ultrasmall PbS nanocrystals as sensitizers in a triplet-fusion upconversion architecture and observe two-fold improved triplet yields. This demonstration emphasizes the photophysical benefits realized via our 2D perovskite shelling strategy, which can be applied to other nanocrystals—especially to small particles that are similarly vulnerable to existing strategies for post-synthetic modifications.


semiconductor nanocrystal
lead sulfide
nanocrystal shelling
photon upconversion
triplet fusion
energy transfer


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