(19)
(11)EP 3 500 521 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
03.08.2022 Bulletin 2022/31

(21)Application number: 17841791.1

(22)Date of filing:  15.06.2017
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B82B 3/00(2006.01)
B82Y 40/00(2011.01)
B22F 9/24(2006.01)
C01B 39/22(2006.01)
C01G 9/08(2006.01)
H01B 1/10(2006.01)
B82Y 20/00(2011.01)
B22F 9/02(2006.01)
C01B 33/18(2006.01)
C01G 9/02(2006.01)
C01G 49/08(2006.01)
(52)Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC):
C01G 49/08; C01G 9/08; C01P 2002/50; C01P 2002/52; B22F 9/02; B22F 2999/00; B22F 9/24; C01B 33/18; C01B 39/22; C01G 9/02; C01P 2006/42; H01B 1/10
 
C-Sets:
B22F 2999/00, B22F 9/02, B22F 2203/11, B22F 2203/13, B22F 2201/03, B22F 2202/01, B22F 2202/11, B22F 2202/06;
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2017/037675
(87)International publication number:
WO 2018/034728 (22.02.2018 Gazette  2018/08)

(54)

METHOD FOR SYNTHESIZING PARTICLES IN THE PRESENCE OF A SOLID PHASE

VERFAHREN ZUR SYNTHESE VON PARTIKELN IN GEGENWART EINER FESTEN PHASE

PROCÉDÉ DE SYNTHÈSE DE PARTICULES EN PRÉSENCE D'UNE PHASE SOLIDE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 18.08.2016 US 201615240407

(43)Date of publication of application:
26.06.2019 Bulletin 2019/26

(73)Proprietor: Ahuratech LLC
Brighton, Michigan 48116 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • AKHAVAN-TAFTI, Hashem
    Howell, Michigan 48843 (US)
  • WANG, Guoping
    Novi, Michigan 48374 (US)
  • SCHOENFELNER, Barry A.
    Saugatuck, Michigan 49453 (US)

(74)Representative: Wallace, Sheila Jane 
Marks & Clerk LLP 15 Fetter Lane
London EC4A 1BW
London EC4A 1BW (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
CN-A- 103 639 418
US-A1- 2006 246 121
US-A1- 2015 079 310
US-A1- 2004 180 785
US-A1- 2010 231 433
  
  • LI Y ET AL: "Synthesis of ZnS nanoparticles into the pore of mesoporous silica spheres", MATERIALS LETTERS, ELSEVIER, AMSTERDAM, NL, vol. 63, no. 12, 15 May 2009 (2009-05-15), pages 1068-1070, XP026011801, ISSN: 0167-577X, DOI: 10.1016/J.MATLET.2009.02.007 [retrieved on 2009-02-10]
  • POURAHMAD A ET AL: "Preparation and characterization of host (mesoporous aluminosilicate material)-guest (semiconductor nanoparticles) nanocomposite mater", MATERIALS LETTERS, vol. 62, no. 4, 18 November 2011 (2011-11-18), pages 655-658, XP029224540, ISSN: 0167-577X, DOI: 10.1016/J.MATLET.2007.06.027
  • YUN-YUN LIU ET AL: "Investigation of Ag nanoparticles loading temperature responsive hybrid microgels and their temperature controlled catalytic activity", COLLOIDS AND SURFACES A: PHYSIOCHEMICAL AND ENGINEERING ASPECTS, ELSEVIER, AMSTERDAM, NL, vol. 393, 8 November 2011 (2011-11-08), pages 105-110, XP028343888, ISSN: 0927-7757, DOI: 10.1016/J.COLSURFA.2011.11.007 [retrieved on 2011-11-18]
  • ZHAO X-G ET AL: "In situ formation of silver nanoparticles inside pore channels of ordered mesoporous silica", MATERIALS LETTERS, ELSEVIER, AMSTERDAM, NL, vol. 58, no. 16, 1 June 2004 (2004-06-01), pages 2152-2156, XP004509194, ISSN: 0167-577X, DOI: 10.1016/J.MATLET.2004.01.022
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS



[0001] This application claims priority to United States Patent Application No. 15/240,407 filed on August 18, 2016.

FIELD



[0002] The present disclosure relates to techniques for synthesizing doped semiconductor particles in the presence of a solid phase.

BACKGROUND



[0003] Nanomaterials have attracted a significant amount of attention in science and industry. Due to quantum mechanical effects present at the atomic/molecular scales, nano-materials exhibit unique electronic, optical and chemical properties. Because of these properties, nanoparticles have found many applications in optoelectronics (such as light emitting devices, displays, and solar cells), medicine (such as drug delivery, diagnostic and therapeutic applications), energy (such as storage and fuel catalysts) and environmental technologies (such as water purification). Despite many scientific efforts focusing on developing new nanomaterials, the synthesis and preparation of these materials in a scalable, inexpensive, efficient, and environmental-friendly manner still remains a challenge. Li et al. disclose a "Synthesis of ZnS nanoparticles into the pore of mesoporous silica spheres" in Material Letters 63 (2009) 1068-1070 and Pourahmad et al. disclose a "Preparation and characterization of host (mesoporous aluminosilicate material)-guest (semiconductor nanoparticles) nanocomposite materials" in Materials Letters 62 (2008) 655-658.

[0004] This section provides background information related to the present disclosure which is not necessarily prior art.

SUMMARY



[0005] This section provides a general summary of the disclosure, and is not a comprehensive disclosure of its full scope or all of its features. The invention is as defined in claim 1.

[0006] In one aspect, a method is provided for synthesizing doped semiconductor particles in the presence of a host structure. The method includes: adding one or more precursors to a liquid solvent; adding a host structure to the liquid solvent, where the host structure is in form of a solid phase; sorpting the precursor onto the surface of the host structure; initiating a chemical reaction that involves the precursor(s) and thereby results in particles formed in or on the surface of the host structure, where initiating a chemical reaction occurs after sorpting the precursor(s) onto the surface of the host structure; and separating the host structure with the associated particles from the liquid solvent. The step of adding one or more precursors can be done before or after the step of adding the host to the liquid solvent.

[0007] Sorpting the precursor onto the surface of the host structure can be achieved by absorption, adsorption or ion exchange.

[0008] In one embodiment, the chemical reaction is initiated by dispersing the host structure into a reaction solvent and introducing a counter ion into the reaction solvent.

[0009] In another embodiment, the chemical reaction is initiated by dispersing the host structure into a reaction solvent and introducing a reducing agent or a catalyst into the reaction solvent.

[0010] In some embodiments, the host structure with the associated particles is separated from the solvent by filtering the reaction solvent. The separated host structures can also be washed to remove residual unreacted species therefrom.

[0011] The particles are released from the host structure. The host structure is dispersed into the secondary solvent and sonicated. The released particles are then separated from the host structure by centrifugation and removed from the secondary solvent.

[0012] Further areas of applicability will become apparent from the description provided herein. The description and specific examples in this summary are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure.

DRAWINGS



[0013] The drawings described herein are for illustrative purposes only of selected embodiments and not all possible implementations, and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure.

Figure 1A is a flowchart depicting a method for synthesizing nanoparticles in the presence of a solid phase;

Figure 1B is a flowchart depicting a method for releasing the nanoparticles from the host structure;

Figure 2A is a diagram depicting an example of precursor ions adsorbed onto a host structure;

Figure 2B is a diagram depicting an example of particles formed on or within the host structure;

Figure 3A is a flowchart depicting a first example embodiment for synthesizing nanoparticles;

Figure 3B is a flowchart depicting a first example embodiment for releasing nanoparticles;

Figure 4A is a flowchart depicting a reference example for synthesizing nanoparticles;

Figure 4B is a flowchart depicting a reference example for releasing nanoparticles;

Figure 5A is a flowchart depicting a second reference example for synthesizing nanoparticles;

Figure 5B is a flowchart depicting a second reference example for releasing nanoparticles;

Figure 6A is a flowchart depicting a third reference example for synthesizing nanoparticles; and

Figure 6B is a flowchart depicting a third reference example for releasing nanoparticles



[0014] Corresponding reference numerals indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views of the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION



[0015] Example embodiments will now be described more fully with reference to the accompanying drawings.

[0016] Figure 1A provides an overview of a method for synthesizing particles on or in a host structure. Synthesized particles have a characteristic size (diameter) less than 100 micrometers and preferably in the range from 100 micrometer to 0.1 nanometers. Synthesized particles include doped semiconductor particles (e.g., ZnS with Mn as dopant and other semiconductors ranging from elemental semiconductors like Si, Ge to combinations of group IIB-VI like CdS, III-V like GaAs, IV-VI like PbS with trace dopants chosen from transition metals like Cu or rare earth metals like Sm).

[0017] Precursors are added at 11 to a primary solvent. In one example, the precursor is dissolved in a liquid solvent (i.e., primary solvent). In the example embodiments set forth below, precursors are typically chosen from salts that are soluble in the primary solvent which contain a cation or anion of interest. Precursors containing a metal source may be chosen from chlorides, acetates, or nitrates of the metal cations of interest; whereas, anions may be chosen from fluorides, chlorides, bromides, iodides, chlorate, perchlorate, bromate, sulfate, nitrate, nitrite, hexafluorophosphate, tetrafluoroborate, trifluoromethanesulfonate, acetate or the like. Precursors containing the anion source used in the example embodiments are chosen from alkali metal salts (Li, Na, K, Rb, Cs), thiourea, thioamides and dithionite salts. Other types of precursors are also contemplated by this disclosure.

[0018] Water and ethanol are example solvents. It is understood that the primary solvent may be chosen from polar protic solvents (e.g., water, alcohols, dimethoxyethane, amines, nitromethane, acids-formic, acetic), or polar aprotic solvents (e.g., DMSO, sulfolane, DMF, NMP, acetonitrile, butyronitrile, acetone, ethyl acetate, tetrahydrofuran, propylene carbonate, polar halogenated solvents like dichloromethane). Other types of solvents are also contemplated within the scope of this disclosure.

[0019] Particles are synthesized in the presence of a host structure (e.g., a solid phase matrix). To do so, the host structure is added at 12 to the solvent containing the precursor. Although nonporous materials may be used, the host structure is preferably a porous material with pores size from 100 micrometers to one Angstrom. The host structure may also be in the form of pellets, powders, washcoats, membranes and natural or synthetic fibers. Example host structures include but are not limited to molecular sieves (e.g., zeolite 13X), silica gel, porous alumina, zeolites, cross-linked dextran, aerogel, xerogel, metal-organic frameworks, and ion exchange media (cationic, anionic and amphoteric).

[0020] The precursor is then associated at 13 with the host structure. More specifically, sorption (i.e., absorption, adsorption or ion exchange) is used to associate the precursor with the host structure. In one example, the precursor 21 is associated with a solid phase matrix 22 by physical adsorption of the precursor on the matrix as seen in Figure 2A. The precursor can be adsorbed, for example using a rotary evaporator to dry the solution which contains the precursor. In another example, the precursor is associated with a solid phase matrix by swelling of a hydrogel serving as a host structure. Precursors may be associated with the matrix using other methods including but not limited to covalent bonding, ionic bonding, polar covalent bonding, hydrogen bonding, electrostatic forces, electrical double layer forces and Van der Waals forces.

[0021] Next, a chemical reaction that involves the precursor is initiated at 14 and thereby results in particles formed in or on surface of the host structure. To do so, the solid phase that is impregnated with the precursors is first redispersed in a reaction solvent. The reaction solvent can be the same as the original primary solvent or an alternate solvent in which the reactants are soluble. Water and ethanol are again example reaction solvents. The reaction solvent may also be chosen from polar protic solvents (e.g., water, alcohols, dimethoxyethane, amines, nitromethane, acids-formic, acetic), or polar aprotic solvents (e.g., DMSO, sulfolane, DMF, NMP, acetonitrile, butyronitrile, acetone, ethyl acetate, tetrahydrofuran, propylene carbonate, polar halogenated solvents like dichloromethane). Other types of reaction solvents are also contemplated within the scope of this disclosure.

[0022] The particles 23 nucleate and grow in the presence of the solid phase 22 as seen in Figure 2B. In one example, the chemical reaction is triggered by heating. Alternatively or additionally, the chemical reaction is triggered by the addition of a solution containing a chemical agent (e., a reducing agent, a catalyst, etc.) to the reaction vessel. The nucleation of the particles can also be triggered by cooling, imposing pressure changes, presence of oxidizing or reducing agents, photochemical stimulation, exposure to microwave radiation, electrical energy, mechanical energy such as sonication, stirring, and shearing.

[0023] Once the reaction is concluded and particles are formed on the solid phase, the excess reactants are removed. That is, the host structure with the associated particles is separated at 15 from the reactants and/or solvent. In one example, the solid phase is washed using the primary solvent and the solid phase is removed by centrifugation of the wash mixture and/or filtration. Pressure, vacuum, centrifugal or gravity aided filtration, trituration, solvent extraction, dialysis, or centrifugation and removal of supernatant can also be used to isolate the solid phase matrix carrying the particles formed in-situ.

[0024] Long-term preservation of the synthesized particles may be carried out by storing the solid matrix containing the particles in a sealed container as indicated at 16. For example, the solid matrix carrying the particles can be immersed in an inert liquid such as alkanes, oils, halogenated solvents. Alternately, the solid matrix containing the particles may be dried for example using air, noble gasses, carbon dioxide, or nitrogen, and then stored in a container. In some embodiments, the container may be vacuum sealed. It is also envisioned that the container may be configured to minimize exposure of the contents to light, oxygen and/or humidity. The particles may be released on demand simply by dispersing the solid matrix in a secondary solvent of choice and the suspension containing particles is reconstituted through the release and filtration methods described below.

[0025] Depending on the application, the particles may remain bound to the solid phase until the time of use. The particles are released from a solid matrix into a desired solvent as described in relation to Figure 1B. The solid matrix is first added or placed into a secondary solvent as indicated at 17. It is understood that the secondary solvent may be the same as the primary solvent or another solvent of choice. Secondary solvents are chosen from polar protic solvents (water, alcohols, dimethoxyethane, amines, nitromethane, acids-formic, acetic), polar aprotic solvents (DMSO, sulfolane, DMF, NMP, acetonitrile, butyronitrile, acetone, ethyl acetate, tetrahydrofuran, propylene carbonate, polar halogenated solvents like dichloromethane). Water and ethanol were used in the example embodiments described below.

[0026] The particles are then released at 18 from the host structure into the secondary solvent, by sonication.

[0027] The released particles are then separated at 19 from the host structure using centrifugation.

[0028] Lastly, the particles are collected at 20 in a container. In one example, the supernatant is decanted into a separate vial.

[0029] To demonstrate the wide range of applicability of the proposed method for synthesizing small particles in the presence of a solid, one example and three reference examples are further described below.

[0030] In a first example embodiment, zinc sulfide (ZnS) with manganese as dopant is synthesized in the presence of a molecular sieve as described in relation to Figure 3A. Synthesis is carried out with a molecular sieve 13X serving as the solid phase and using water as the primary and secondary solvent. A 1 M aqueous solution of the zinc precursor is prepared at 31 by dissolving 6.03 g of [Zn(OAc)2.2H2O] in 25 mL of distilled water. A 0.1 M solution of the manganese precursor is prepared at 32 by the dissolving 245 mg of Mn(OAc)2 in 10 mL of distilled water. A 1 M aqueous solution of Na2S is prepared by dissolving 6 g of Na2S.7H2O in 25 mL of distilled water. Next, 8g of molecular sieve 13X is added at 33 to a 250 mL flask containing 80 mL of distilled water and the mixture is rapidly stirred. 16 mL of the 1 M zinc acetate solution and 1.6 mL of 0.1 M manganese acetate solution are mixed together and added to a mixing flask as indicated at 34. The mixture is then stirred at room temperature for 60 minutes. The mixture of the metal precursors produces a 1% molar basis of Mn(II) dopant. Using a rotary evaporator, the precursor solutions are dried at 68°C to adsorb the metal salts at 35 into the pores of the molecular sieves. The dry solids are then transferred at 36 into another reaction flask and 80 mL of distilled water is added to the reaction flask. 16 mL of the 1 M sodium sulfide solution is added drop-wise at 37 to the reaction vessel with rapid stirring under nitrogen. The mixture becomes slightly pink colored. The mixture is continuously stirred at 38 under nitrogen for 45 minutes at room temperature followed by an additional 60 minutes at 90°C. The mixture is then gradually cooled down to room temperature. The molecular sieve (i.e., solid matrix) containing the particles is extracted at 39 from the reaction mix by centrifugation and decanting the supernatant liquid. Several wash steps can also be carried out. Example wash steps can include: dispersion of solids in fresh pure solvent, shaking the mix, centrifuge at 4000 rpm for 10 minutes followed by decanting and discarding the supernatant wash liquid.

[0031] Referring to Figure 3B, the nanoparticles are subsequently released from the molecular sieve. More specifically, the solid matrix with the particles is dispersed in fresh solvent at 41 and sonicated in an ultrasonic bath at 42. As indicated at 43, the mixture is centrifuged at 4000 rpm for 10 minutes and the cloudy supernatant suspension containing the released particles is collected in a separate tube. To separate the finer particles (nanometer sized), the cloudy suspension is further centrifuged at 14,000 rpm for 10 minutes. The subsequent transparent supernatant containing the nanoparticles is collected at 44 in another separate vial. The presence of nanoparticles in the transparent supernatant was confirmed by electron microscopy (TEM) and their absorption spectrum using UV-Vis spectrometry. A bright orange luminescence was observed from the nanoparticle suspension when exposed to 365 nm UV light.

[0032] In a reference example, metal particles are synthesized as described in relation to Figure 4A. Synthesis is carried out in the presence of silica particles which serve as the solid phase. Water is used as the primary and secondary solvent. In a 100 mL round bottom flask, 1g of silica gel (230-400 Mesh, 46-63 µm) is dispersed at 51 in 20 mL of distilled water. The mixture is rapidly stirred at 52. While stirring, 4 mL of the 0.01M HAuCl4 solution is added to the flask at 53. For ideal results, the mixture is stirred overnight. The suspension is rotary evaporated at 50°C to allow the metal precursor to fully adsorb onto the silica gel as indicated at 54. The dry solids are then dispersed at 55 in 20 mL fresh distilled water. While stirring under N2 gas purge, 1 mL of sodium borohydride solution is added at 56 to the reaction mix, dropwise. The mixture is stirred at 57 for an additional 30 minutes. The reaction mixture can be suction filtered at 58 through filter paper to isolate the silica gel containing the gold particles. Several wash steps can be performed as well. Example wash steps may include: disperse the solid matrix in fresh solvent, shake well, centrifuge at 4000 rpm for 10 minutes, and decant and discard the wash liquid remaining atop the solids.

[0033] Referring to Figure 4B, the nanoparticles were subsequently released from the silica gel. To release the nanoparticles, the silica gel is dispersed in 13 mL of distilled water, vortex-mixed and shaken well to form a slurry as indicated at 61. The slurry is sonicated at 62 for 10 minutes in an ultrasonic bath, followed by centrifugation at 63 to collect the solid matrix at the bottom. The supernatant containing the gold particles is decanted. To obtain finer particles (nanometer sized), a follow-up high speed centrifugation at 14,000 rpm for 10 minutes is carried out on the particle laden liquid and the supernatant is decanted at 64 into a separate vial. The presence of gold nanoparticles in the supernatant was confirmed using electron microscopy and UV-Vis spectrometry.

[0034] In a second reference example, zinc oxide particles are synthesized as described in relation to Figure 5A. Synthesis is carried out in the presence of molecular sieve 13X which serves as a solid phase. Isopropanol and water serve as the primary and secondary solvent, respectively. To begin, 2 g of molecular sieve 13X is added at 71 to a flask containing 25 mL of isopropanol (i.e., primary solvent). While rapidly stirring, 4 mmol (736 mg) Zn(OAc)2 (i.e., precursor) is added at 72 to the flask and the mixture is heated to 80°C for 1 hour. The mixture is rotary evaporated at 73 to dryness. Remaining dry solids are dispersed at 74 in reaction flask containing 25 mL of fresh isopropanol while rapidly stirring at 80°C. Triethylamine is added at 75 in excess molar ratio (at least 40 mmol) to the reaction flask and the mixture was continously stirred and heated at 80°C for 3 hours as indicated at 76. At 77, the mixture is cooled down and the solids are extracted by filtration and the excess solvent was discarded. The solids are washed with fresh isopropanol followed by distilled water. The solid matrix is then heated at 78 at 110°C overnight to convert zinc hydroxide formed in the matrix to zinc oxide. Formation of ZnO particles was confirmed by X-ray diffraction (XRD).

[0035] Referring to Figure 5B, the zinc oxide particles were subsequently released from the molecular sieve. To release the nanoparticles, solids are dispersed at 81 in 13 mL of distilled water (secondary solvent) and sonicated at 82 in an ultrasonic bath. As indicated at 83, the mixture is then centrifuged at 4000 rpm for 10 minutes to separate the solid matrix from the cloudy supernatant containing the released particles. To separate the finer particles (nanometer sized), the cloudy suspension collected earlier is centrifuged at 14,000 rpm for 10 minutes and the clear the supernatant containing the nanoparticles is decanted at 84 into a separate vial. The presence of nanoparticles in the transparent supernatant was confirmed by electron microscopy (TEM).

[0036] In a third reference example, magnetic particles are synthesized as described in relation to Figure 6A. Synthesis is carried out in a molecular sieve 13X which serves as the solid phase. Water is used as the primary and secondary solvent. 2 g of molecular sieve 13X is added at 91 to a flask containing 25 mL of distilled water. 1 millimole of FeCl2 and 2 millimoles of FeCl3 is then added at 92 to the flask (optimum molar Fe2+/Fe3+ ratio is in the range of 0.4 - 0.6). The mixture is stirred at 93 for 45 minutes. The mixture is rotary evaporated to dryness at 94 to adsorb the precursors onto the solid matrix. Dry solids are dispersed at 95 in 25 mL of distilled water. Next, a solution containing 16 millimoles of ammonium hydroxide is added dropwise at 96 over a 30 minute period while the reaction vessel was rapidly stirred under a N2 gas atmosphere. The reaction vessel is then heated to 90°C for 1 hour under N2 gas purge with stirring as indicated at 97. The reaction mixture is cooled to room temperature and the solid matrix containing the particles is removed at 98 by suction filtration and washed with distilled water.

[0037] Referring to Figure 6B, the nanoparticles were subsequently released from the molecular sieves. Solids containing the particles were dispersed in 13 mL of distilled water, vortex-mixed and shaken well to form a slurry at 101. The slurry is sonicated in an ultrasonic bath for 10 minutes at 102, followed by centrifugation at 4000 rpm for 10 minutes to separate the solid matrix from the cloudy suspension containing the released magnetic particles as indicated at 103. To separate the finer particles (nanometer sized), the cloudy suspension is centrifuged at 14,000 rpm for 10 minutes and the clear the supernatant containing the nanoparticles is decanted at 104 into a separate vial.

[0038] The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular example embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting. As used herein, the singular forms "a," "an," and "the" may be intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. The terms "comprises," "comprising," "including," and "having," are inclusive and therefore specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps, operations, elements, and/or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, operations, elements, components, and/or groups thereof. The method steps, processes, and operations described herein are not to be construed as necessarily requiring their performance in the particular order discussed or illustrated, unless specifically identified as an order of performance. It is also to be understood that additional or alternative steps may be employed.

[0039] When an element or layer is referred to as being "on," "engaged to," "connected to," or "coupled to" another element or layer, it may be directly on, engaged, connected or coupled to the other element or layer, or intervening elements or layers may be present. In contrast, when an element is referred to as being "directly on," "directly engaged to," "directly connected to," or "directly coupled to" another element or layer, there may be no intervening elements or layers present. Other words used to describe the relationship between elements should be interpreted in a like fashion (e.g., "between" versus "directly between," "adjacent" versus "directly adjacent," etc.). As used herein, the term "and/or" includes any and all combinations of one or more of the associated listed items.

[0040] Although the terms first, second, third, etc. may be used herein to describe various elements, components, regions, layers and/or sections, these elements, components, regions, layers and/or sections should not be limited by these terms. These terms may be only used to distinguish one element, component, region, layer or section from another region, layer or section. Terms such as "first," "second," and other numerical terms when used herein do not imply a sequence or order unless clearly indicated by the context. Thus, a first element, component, region, layer or section discussed below could be termed a second element, component, region, layer or section without departing from the teachings of the example embodiments.

[0041] Spatially relative terms, such as "inner," "outer," "beneath," "below," "lower," "above," "upper," and the like, may be used herein for ease of description to describe one element or feature's relationship to another element(s) or feature(s) as illustrated in the figures. Spatially relative terms may be intended to encompass different orientations of the device in use or operation in addition to the orientation depicted in the figures. For example, if the device in the figures is turned over, elements described as "below" or "beneath" other elements or features would then be oriented "above" the other elements or features. Thus, the example term "below" can encompass both an orientation of above and below. The device may be otherwise oriented (rotated 90 degrees or at other orientations) and the spatially relative descriptors used herein interpreted accordingly.


Claims

1. A method for synthesizing doped semiconductor particles on or in a host structure, comprising:

adding one or more precursors to a liquid solvent;

adding a host structure to the liquid solvent, where the host structure is in form of a solid phase;

sorpting the one or more precursors onto surface of the host structure;

redispersing the host structure in a reaction solvent;

initiating a chemical reaction that involves the one or more precursors, where the chemical reaction results in particles formed in or on surface of the host structure, where initiating a chemical reaction occurs after sorpting the precursor onto surface of the host structure and the particles are sized less than 100 micrometers;

separating the host structure, along with the particles formed in or on the surface of the host structure, from the reaction solvent; and

releasing the particles from the host structure into a secondary solvent selected from a group consisting of nonpolar solvents, polar protic solvents and polar aprotic solvents, after the step of separating the host structure from the reaction solvent;

wherein the particles are released from the host structure by dispersing the host structure into the secondary solvent and sonication of the secondary solvent, separating the released particles from the host structure by centrifugation and removing the host structure from the secondary solvent.


 
2. The method of claim 1 wherein the host structure includes pores which retain the particles and the pores are sized less than 100 micrometers.
 
3. The method of claim 1 wherein the host structure is further defined as a solid phase matrix and the precursor is a salt soluble in the liquid solvent.
 
4. The method of claim 1 wherein the liquid solvent is selected from a group consisting of a polar protic solvent and a polar aprotic solvent.
 
5. The method of claim 1 further comprises sorpting the precursor onto the surface of the host structure by one of absorption, adsorption or ion exchange.
 
6. The method of claim 5 wherein the precursor is a metal cation and the step of initiating a chemical reaction includes introducing a counter ion to the metal cation into the reaction solvent, where the reaction solvent is same or different from the liquid solvent.
 
7. The method of claim 5 wherein the step of initiating a chemical reaction includes introducing a reducing agent or a catalyst into the reaction solvent, where the reaction solvent is same or different from the liquid solvent.
 
8. The method of claim 1 further comprises separating the host structure, along with the associated particles formed in or on the surface of the host structure, from the solvent by filtering the reaction solvent and optionally washing the separated host structures to remove excess reactants therefrom.
 
9. The method of claim 1 wherein the particles are zinc sulfide with manganese as dopant.
 
10. The method of claim 1 wherein the host structure is in the form of pellets, powders, washcoats, membranes, natural fibers or synthetic fibers and is selected from a group consisting of molecular sieves, silica, alumina, zeolites, cross-linked dextran, aerogel, xerogel, metal-organic frameworks and ion exchange media.
 
11. The method of claim 1 which further comprises storing the host structure with particles in or on the surface in a sealed container.
 


Ansprüche

1. Verfahren zum Synthetisieren von dotierten Halbleiterpartikeln auf oder in einer Wirtsstruktur, umfassend:

Zugeben eines oder mehrerer Vorläufer zu einem flüssigen Lösungsmittel;

Zugeben einer Wirtsstruktur zu dem flüssigen Lösungsmittel, wobei die Wirtsstruktur in der Form einer festen Phase ist;

Anreichern des einen oder der mehreren Vorläufer auf eine Oberfläche der Wirtsstruktur;

erneutes Dispergieren der Wirtsstruktur in einem Reaktionslösungsmittel;

Einleiten einer chemischen Reaktion, die den einen oder die mehreren Vorläufer beinhaltet, wobei die chemische Reaktion in oder auf einer Oberfläche der Wirtsstruktur gebildete Partikeln zur Folge hat, wobei Einleiten einer chemischen Reaktion nach dem Anreichern des Vorläufers auf der Oberfläche der Wirtsstruktur erfolgt und die Partikeln eine Größe von weniger als 100 Mikrometer aufweisen;

Trennen der Wirtsstruktur zusammen mit den in oder auf der Oberfläche der Wirtsstruktur gebildeten Partikeln von dem Reaktionslösungsmittel; und

Freisetzen der Partikeln von der Wirtsstruktur in ein sekundäres Lösungsmittel, ausgewählt aus der Gruppe, bestehend aus unpolaren Lösungsmitteln, polaren protischen Lösungsmitteln und polaren aprotischen Lösungsmitteln, nach dem Schritt des Trennens der Wirtsstruktur von dem Reaktionslösungsmittel;

wobei die Partikeln durch Dispergieren der Wirtsstruktur in das sekundäre Lösungsmittel und Beschallung des sekundären Lösungsmittels, Trennen der freigesetzten Partikeln von der Wirtsstruktur durch Zentrifugation und Entfernen der Wirtsstruktur aus dem sekundären Lösungsmittel aus der Wirtsstruktur freigesetzt werden.


 
2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Wirtsstruktur Poren enthält, die die Partikeln halten, und die Poren eine Größe von weniger als 100 Mikrometer aufweisen.
 
3. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1 wobei die Wirtsstruktur ferner als eine Festphasenmatrix definiert ist und der Vorläufer ein in dem flüssigen Lösungsmittel lösliches Salz ist.
 
4. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1 wobei das flüssige Lösungsmittel aus einer Gruppe ausgewählt ist, bestehend aus einem polaren protischen Lösungsmittel und einem polaren aprotischen Lösungsmittel.
 
5. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, ferner umfassend Anreichern des Vorläufers auf die Oberfläche der Wirtsstruktur durch eines von Absorption, Adsorption oder Ionenaustausch.
 
6. Verfahren nach Anspruch 5, wobei der Vorläufer ein Metallkation ist und der Schritt des Einleitens einer chemischen Reaktion enthält, ein Gegenion zum Metallkation in das Reaktionslösungsmittel einzuführen, wobei das Reaktionslösungsmittel gleich wie das flüssige Lösungsmittel oder davon verschieden ist.
 
7. Verfahren nach Anspruch 5
wobei der Schritt des Einleitens einer chemischen Reaktion enthält, ein Reduktionsmittel oder einen Katalysator in das Reaktionslösungsmittel einzuführen, wobei das Reaktionslösungsmittel gleich wie das flüssige Lösungsmittel oder davon verschieden ist.
 
8. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, ferner umfassend Trennen der Wirtsstruktur zusammen mit den in oder auf der Oberfläche der Wirtsstruktur gebildeten assoziierten Partikeln von dem Lösungsmittel durch Filtern des Reaktionslösungsmittels und wahlweises Waschen der getrennten Wirtsstrukturen, um überschüssige Reaktanten daraus zu entfernen.
 
9. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Partikeln Zinksulfid mit Mangan als Dotierstoff sind.
 
10. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Wirtsstruktur in der Form von Pellets, Pulvern, Washcoats, Membranen, Naturfasern oder synthetischen Fasern ist und aus einer Gruppe ausgewählt ist, bestehend aus Molekularsieben, Siliciumdioxid, Aluminiumoxid, Zeolithen, vernetztem Dextran, Aerogel, Xerogel, metallorganischen Gerüsten und Ionenaustauschmedien.
 
11. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, ferner umfassend Lagern der Wirtsstruktur mit Partikeln in oder auf der Oberfläche in einem verschlossenen Behälter.
 


Revendications

1. Procédé permettant de synthétiser des particules à semi-conducteur dopées sur ou dans une structure hôte, comprenant :

l'ajout d'un ou plusieurs précurseurs à un solvant liquide ;

l'ajout d'une structure hôte au solvant liquide, dans lequel la structure hôte est sous la forme d'une phase solide ;

la réalisation d'une sorption de l'un ou plusieurs précurseurs sur une surface de la structure hôte ;

la redispersion de la structure hôte dans un solvant de réaction ;

l'initiation d'une réaction chimique qui implique le ou les précurseurs, où la réaction chimique donne ders particules formées dans ou sur une surface de la structure hôte, dans lequel l'initiation d'une réaction chimique se produit après sorption du précurseur sur la surface de la structure hôte et les particules sont dimensionnées à moins de 100 micromètres ;

la séparation de la structure hôte, avec les particules formées dans ou sur la surface de la structure hôte, du solvant de réaction ; et

la libération des particules de la structure hôte dans un solvant secondaire sélectionné à partir d'un groupe constitué de solvants non-polaires, de solvants protiques polaires et de solvants aprotiques polaires, après l'étape de séparation de la structure hôte du solvant de réaction ;

dans lequel les particules sont libérées de la structure hôte en dispersant la structure hôte dans le solvant secondaire et la sonication du solvant secondaire, en séparant les particules libérées de la structure hôte par centrifugation et en enlevant la structure hôte du solvant secondaire.


 
2. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la structure hôte inclut des pores qui retiennent les particules et les pores mesurent moins de 100 micromètres.
 
3. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la structure hôte est en outre définie comme une matrice en phase solide et le précurseur est un sel soluble dans le solvant liquide.
 
4. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le solvant liquide est sélectionné dans un groupe constitué d'un solvant protique polaire et d'un solvant aprotique polaire.
 
5. Procédé selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre la sorption du précurseur sur la surface de la structure hôte par un procédé parmi une absorption, une adsorption ou un échange d'ions.
 
6. Procédé selon la revendication 5, dans lequel le précurseur est un cation métallique et l'étape d'initiation d'une réaction chimique inclut l'introduction d'un contre-ion au cation métallique dans le solvant de réaction, dans lequel le solvant de réaction est identique ou différent du solvant liquide.
 
7. Procédé selon la revendication 5, dans lequel l'étape d'initiation d'une réaction chimique inclut l'introduction d'un agent réducteur ou d'un catalyseur dans le solvant de réaction, dans lequel le solvant de réaction est identique ou différent du solvant liquide.
 
8. Procédé selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre la séparation de la structure hôte, avec les particules associées formées dans ou sur la surface de la structure hôte, du solvant en filtrant le solvant de réaction et éventuellement en lavant les structures hôtes séparées pour en éliminer l'excès de réactifs.
 
9. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les particules sont du sulfure de zinc avec du manganèse comme agent dopant.
 
10. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la structure hôte est sous la forme de granules, de poudres, de washcoats, de membranes, de fibres naturelles ou de fibres synthétiques et est sélectionnée dans un groupe constitué de tamis moléculaires, de silice, d'alumine, de zéolites, de dextrane réticulé, d'aérogel, de xérogel, de squelettes organométalliques et de supports d'échanges d'ions.
 
11. Procédé selon la revendication 1, qui comprend en outre le stockage de la structure hôte avec des particules dans ou sur la surface dans un récipient scellé.
 




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Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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Patent documents cited in the description




Non-patent literature cited in the description