Stabilization of lead sulfide nanoparticles by polyamines in aqueous solutions. A structural study of the dispersions
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Lead sulfide (PbS) nanoparticles have been synthesized in aqueous solutions by a reaction between inorganic lead salts and sodium sulfide and stabilized using the cationic polyelectrolytes branched poly(ethylenimine) (PEI), poly(allylamine hydrochloride) (PAH), and poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride) (PDDA). The structures of the polyamine-stabilized nanoparticle dispersions were examined in detail using UV-vis spectroscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), static and dynamic electrophoretic mobility measurements, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Considerable differences were found between the stabilizing efficiencies of these polyelectrolytes, which cannot be attributed to their charge densities or their persistence lengths. Small monodisperse nanoparticles of PbS with a tight stabilizing shell were consistently found only when PEI was used as a stabilizer even at high pH values, although its charge density is then very low. The excellence of PEI as a stabilizer is mainly due to the extensive branching of the chains and the presence of uncharged secondary and tertiary amine groups, which apparently serve as good anchoring points at the nanoparticle surfaces. None of the polyelectrolytes examined here provide long-term protection of the nanoparticles toward oxidation by air, showing that a need for more complex multipurpose stabilizers exists for aqueous PbS dispersions. © 2010 American Chemical Society.
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