CsPbBr3 nanocrystals (NCs) passivated by conventional lipophilic capping ligands suffer from colloidal and optical instability under ambient conditions, commonly due to the surface rearrangements induced by the polar solvents used for the NC purification steps. To avoid onerous postsynthetic approaches, ascertained as the only viable stability-improvement strategy, the surface passivation paradigms of as-prepared CsPbBr3 NCs should be revisited. In this work, the addition of an extra halide source (8-bromooctanoic acid) to the typical CsPbBr3 synthesis precursors and surfactants leads to the in situ formation of a zwitterionic ligand already before cesium injection. As a result, CsPbBr3 NCs become insoluble in nonpolar hexane, with which they can be washed and purified, and form stable colloidal solutions in a relatively polar medium (dichloromethane), even when longly exposed to ambient conditions. The improved NC stability stems from the effective bidentate adsorption of the zwitterionic ligand on the perovskite surfaces, as supported by theoretical investigations. Furthermore, the bidentate functionalization of the zwitterionic ligand enables the obtainment of blue-emitting perovskite NCs with high PLQYs by UV-irradiation in dichloromethane, functioning as the photoinduced chlorine source.
Full paper, open access: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.nanolett.2c00937