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Posted: Feb 08, 2013

Insights into lead nanoparticles as an advanced semiconductor material

(Nanowerk News) Indian researchers have developed a new metallic semiconductor. The group, based at Centre for Research and Post Graduate Department of Physics, Ayya Nadar Janaki Ammal College comments: “To our best knowledge, this is the first demonstration of semiconducting nature of lead nanoparticles. So far, lead metal has been known as a good/super conductor.”
The researchers have explained the synthesis procedures of this metal powder in their earlier report ("Konjac Bio-Molecules Assisted, Rod-Spherical shaped Lead Nano Powder Synthesized by Electrolytic Process and Its Characterization Studies") and explore its semiconducting properties in current report ("Lead Nanopowder as Advanced Semi-Conductor, An Insight").
Findings of this study suggests that the synthesized material is an efficient semiconducting material and can be utilized for making solar cells, optoelectronic, power and other semiconductor devices.
This work throws some light on and helps further research on nano-sized lead powder. It is a well known fact that generally nanomaterials have behaviors different from their bulk material. Size and shape provides important control over many of the physical properties (viz., melting point, magnetism, specific heat, conductivity, band gap, etc.), luminescence, optical, chemical and catalytic properties of nanomaterials. The present research is a point in case and has led to the new nanosized lead metallic semiconductor.
Photoluminescence study of the material indicates the emission of photon and suggests presence of bandgap in the material. This confirms semiconducting properties.
As a direct bandgap material, the visible light shining on its surface is well absorbed by this material. Also, the large surface area (314 nm2) and high specific surface area (52m2g-1) of this material augments its light absorbance property. Quantum yield value greater than 1 of this material is the result of the gain of energy and it shows possible utilisation for heat or photochemical reaction or photo-induced or radiation-induced chain reactions, in which a single photon may trigger a long chain of transformations. These characters will be very useful while applying this semiconductor material in photovoltaic cells.
The researchers have studied band gap values of lead nanopowder obtained from UV-Vis, PL, Cyclic voltammetry analyses and resistivity values from Four probe analyses results. “Our data clearly indicates the semiconducting nature of Pb nanopowder and its direct bandgap,” the researchers comment, adding: “Further research related to electrical behaviors, battery performances etc. of this material are ongoing.”
Source: Ayya Nadar Janaki Ammal College
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