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Synthesis and characterization of tin telluride inorganic/organic composite materials with nanoscale periodicity through solution-phase self-assembly: a new class of composite materials based on Zintl cluster self-oligomerization

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In this work, we demonstrate the synthesis of semiconducting tin telluride inorganic/organic composite materials with nanoscale periodicity prepared using solution phase self-assembly. Oligomerization of anionic SnTe4−4 clusters by halogen-mediated tellurium elimination in the presence of surfactant leads to the formation of a meosotructured composite. The composites initially forms as a mixture of mesophases, usually some combination of a layered phase and a phase based on cylindrical building blocks. Post synthetic treatment leads to a solid-state structural change which converts the composites to a single mesophase architecture with a hexagonal honeycomb (p6mm) morphology on the nanometer length scale. A byproduct of this reaction, however, is bulk tellurium. Changes in the electronic structure of the materials during synthesis and solid-state restructuring are probed using electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy.


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