Nanocapsules of Bi2S3 with diameters between 5 and 10 nm and shells with an amorphous atomic distribution were synthesized at room temperature, with bismuth nitrate and thiourea as precursors. Aging the solution for several days a black powder precipitated made of a mixture of one amorphous phase and crystalline Bi2S3. When two capsules interacted between each other, the capsule regions in contact crystallized into bismuth sulfide, which explains the origin of the crystalline phase observed in the X-ray diffraction pattern. At this temperature, aggregation of the small nanocapsules also gave rise to necklaces of capsules, which eventually gave rise to nanotubes; these necklaces ordered forming bundles parallel to their largest dimension. When the solution was annealed at temperatures lower than 100 °C, aggregation gave rise to capsules as large as 1 μm in diameter, and tubes with similar diameters; in this case aggregation occurred between small and large nanocapsules. Because of the monomers aggregating had an external spherical symmetry and the low annealing temperatures, which were not high enough to produce sintering, all capsules and tubes formed during aggregation had porous walls, making these materials interesting for many applications.
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Vega-González, M., Bokhimi, X., Aguilar-Franco, M. et al. Synthesis and Aggregation of BiBi2S3 Nanocapsules. MRS Online Proceedings Library 879, 336 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-879-Z3.36