A pyrazolyl-based thiolato single-source precursor for the selective synthesis of isotropic copper-deficient copper(I) sulfide nanocrystals: synthesis, optical and photocatalytic activity

  • Gopinath Mondal
  • Ananyakumari Santra
  • Pradip Bera
  • Moumita Acharjya
  • Sumanta Jana
  • Dipankar Chattopadhyay
  • Anup Mondal
  • Sang Il Seok
  • Pulakesh Bera
Research Paper


Hexagonal copper-deficient copper(I) sulfide (Cu2-x S, x = 0.03, 0.2) nanocrystals (NCs) are synthesized from a newly prepared single-source precursor (SP), [Cu(bdpa)2][CuCl2], where bdpa is benzyl 3,5-dimethyl-pyrazole-1-carbodithioate. The SP is crystallized with space group Pī and possesses a distorted tetrahedron structure with a CuN2S2 chromophore where the central copper is in +1 oxidation state. Distortion in copper(I) structure and the low decomposition temperature of SP make it favorable for the low-temperature solvent-assisted selective growth of high-copper content sulfides. The nucleation and growth of Cu2-x S (x = 0.03, 0.2) are effectively controlled by the SP and the solvent in the solvothermal decomposition process. During decomposition, fragment benzyl thiol (PhCH2SH) from SP effectively passivates the nucleus leading to spherical nanocrystals. Further, solvent plays an important role in the selective thermochemical transformation of CuI-complex to Cu2-x S (x = 0.03, 0.2) NCs. The chelating binders (solvent) like ethylene diamine (EN) and ethylene glycol (EG) prefer to form spherical Cu1.97S nanoparticles (djurleite), whereas nonchelating hydrazine hydrate (HH) shows the tendency to furnish hexagonal platelets of copper-deficient Cu1.8S. The optical band gap values (2.25–2.50 eV) show quantum confinement effect in the structure. The synthesized NCs display excellent catalytic activity (~87 %) toward photodegradation of organic dyes like Congo Red (CR) and Methylene Blue (MB).

Graphical abstract

A pyrazolyl-based thiolato single-source precursor for the selective synthesis of isotropic copper-deficient copper(I) sulfide nanocrystals: Synthesis, optical and photocatalytic activity.

Gopinath Mondal, Ananyakumari Santra, Pradip Bera, Moumita Acharjya, Sumanta Jana, Dipankar Chattopadhyay, Anup Mondal, Sang Il Seok, Pulakesh Bera.


Solvothermal Isotropic Copper(I) sulfide Nanocrystals Photocatalytic activity 



We gratefully acknowledge the research grant from CSIR, Government of India [Grant No. 1(2534)/11/EMR-II] and UGC, Government of India [F 42-280/2013(SR)]. We are thankful to the people of CRNN, Calcutta University for TEM and SEM analysis.

Supplementary material

11051_2016_3538_MOESM1_ESM.doc (598 kb)
Fig. S1 Cu2S nanoparticles from [Cu(mdpa)2][CuCl2] precursor by using HH solvent at 180 °C. Fig. S2 Determination of rate constants for photodegradation of Cu2-xS NCs (DOC 598 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gopinath Mondal
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ananyakumari Santra
    • 1
  • Pradip Bera
    • 1
  • Moumita Acharjya
    • 1
  • Sumanta Jana
    • 2
  • Dipankar Chattopadhyay
    • 3
  • Anup Mondal
    • 2
  • Sang Il Seok
    • 4
    • 5
  • Pulakesh Bera
    • 1
  1. 1.Post Graduate Department of Chemistry, Panskura Banamali CollegeVidyasagar UniversityMidnapore (E)India
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryIndian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST)ShibpurIndia
  3. 3.Department of Polymer Science and TechnologyUniversity of CalcuttaKolkataIndia
  4. 4.KRICT-EPFL Global Research Laboratory, Division of Advanced MaterialsKorea Research Institute of Chemical TechnologyYuseong-GuSouth Korea
  5. 5.Department of Energy ScienceSungkyunkwan UniversitySuwonSouth Korea

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