The aim of this research project is to investigate experimentally and numerically the synthesis and structure of semiconductor nanoparticles (d < 20 nm). The model systems that have been chosen for this work are zinc oxide (ZnO) and lead sulphide (PbS) due to their potential for future applications in optoelectronics, sensors, catalysis and absorbing coatings. The functional benefit is due to the fact that the optical and electronic properties of particles in the lower nanometer regime are primarily determined by particle size and shape. So the ability to control these parameters enables product properties to be adjusted. The kinetics of particle formation are investigated quantitatively and shall be described predictably with population balance equations (PBE) for the first time. On the one hand this quantitative analysis is the basis for the design of production processes and on the other hand it offers the possibility to study important kinetic substeps such as particle growth or agglomeration separately. Through stabilization of the particles technically relevant concentrations (e.g. 1-10 vol-%) shall be reached. Additional investigation of scattering behaviour and the application of advanced optical characterisation methods will deliver insights into the early stages of the particle formation process.
Scheme of the approach applied within SPP 1273 for a process development of the synthesis and structuring of semiconductor nanoparticles