Cadmium and lead based chalcogenide nanoparticles have been at the forefront of nanomaterials synthesis and applications during the past decade. CdSe, CdTe, PbSe and PbTe nanoparticles have been synthesized using a simple, non-organometallic hybrid solution based, high temperature route. The route involves reacting selenium or tellurium powder with sodium borohydride (NaBH4) to produce selenide or telluride ions; followed by the reaction with a metal salt in a coordinating solvent. By varying the reaction parameters such as temperature, capping group and metal source, cadmium and lead chalcogenide nanoparticles with different shapes and sizes have been obtained. We have found that the metal source plays an important role in the growth mechanism and final morphology of the particles. Nanorods of PbTe and CdTe are grown by the oriented attachment mechanism. We discuss this mechanism of growth in great detail using CdTe and PbTe as examples.
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