Institut des
NanoSciences de Paris
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Colloidal synthesis of nanocrystals

Involved reserachers : Emmanuel Lhuillier, Yoann Prado

Our team is highly involved in the design of nanocrystal based devices such as field effect transistors, LEDs and light detectors. To get full control on the project, we also grow our own nanoparticles giving us access to state of the art nanocrystals and offering more flexibility to tune their properties. Thanks to 10 years of experience, we are able to grow a broad range of material, including metals, wide band gap (CdSe, ZnO, perovskites) and narrow band gap (PbS, HgX) semiconductors. We also have possibility to achieve shape control (sphere, rod, 2D nanoplatelets, star, cube…) or to design heterostructure. See the figure below.


Electronic microscopy images of nanocrystal grown by the team

Beyond the growth of existing nanocrystals, we also dedicate some effort to the development of orginal synthetic procedure. For example, we report the first highly concentrated synthesis of HgTe nanocrystals by switching from conventional mercury salts to liquid mercury as precursor. We thus obtained the most concentrated synthesis of HgTe nanocrystal ever reported with concentration close to 100 g/L. This new synthetic route is promissing to achieve greener synthesis of HgTe with reduced exposure of work force to Hg precursor.


Scheme of liquid Hg based synthesis of HgTe nanocrystals

A part of our activity is also dedicated to the quest of heavy metal free nanocrystals growth which are optically active in the infrared


  • Junling QU, 2017-2021
  • Charlie Gréboval, 2018-2021


  • Nicolas Goubet – industrial funding Nanocrystal users

Our nanocrystals are also used by many collaborators @INSP : Photonique et cohérence de spin, Acoustique pour les nanosciences, Physico-chimie et dynamique des surfaces, Mécanique multi-échelles des solides faibles @in France : MPQ (A. Degiron), LKB (A. Bramati), C2N (S. Sauvage)….


  1. 1. Near to Long Wave Infrared Mercury Chalcogenide Nanocrystals from Liquid Mercury, N. Goubet, M. Thomas, C. Gréboval, A. Chu, J. Qu, P. Rastogi, S.-S. Chee, M ; Goyal, Y. Zhang, X. Z. Xu, G. Cabailh, S. Ithurria, E. Lhuillier, J Phys Chem C 124, 8423 (2020)
  2. 2. Wavefunction engineering in HgSe/HgTe colloidal heterostructures to enhance mid infrared photoconductive properties, N. Goubet, C. Livache, B. Martinez, X. Z. Xu, S. Ithurria, S. Royer, H. Cruguel, G. Patriarche, A. Ouerghi, M. Silly, B. Dubertret, E. Lhuillier, Nano Lett 18, 4590 (2018)
  3. 3. Transport in ITO Nanocrystals with Short- to Long-Wave Infrared Absorption for Heavy Metal-Free Infrared Photodetection, J. Qu, C. Livache, B. Martinez, C. Gréboval, A. Chu, E. Meriggio, J. Ramade, H. Cruguel, X. Zhen Xu, A. Proust, F. Volatron, G. Cabailh, N. Goubet, E. Lhuillier, ACS Appl. Nano 2, 1621 (2019).
  4. 4. Intraband mid infrared transitions in Ag2Se nanocrystals : potential and limitations for Hg-free low cost photodetection, J. Qu, N. Goubet, C. Livache, B. Martinez, D. Amelot, C. Greboval, A. Chu, H. Cruguel, S. Ithurria, M. Silly, E. Lhuillier, J. Phys Chem C 122, 18161 (2018)
  5. 5. Terahertz HgTe nanocrystals : beyond confinement, N. Goubet, A. Jagtap, C. Livache, B. Martinez, H. Portales, X. Zhen Xu, R.P.S.M. Lobo, B. Dubertret, E. Lhuillier, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 140, 5053 (2018).