Regiospecific Cation Exchange in Nanocrystals and Its Potential in Diversifying the Nanostructural Library

Yongju Hong, Sandhya Venkateshalu, Sangyeon Jeong, Jongsik Park, Kwangyeol Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The cation-exchange reaction (CER), a promising nanocrystal (NC) engineering strategy, has undergone rapid progress in the past decade, sparking a big wave of interest in the post-synthetic tuning of chemical compositions, crystal phases, interfaces, morphologies, and corresponding properties. However, a significant gap has existed between the theoretical and actual CERs, hindering the popularization of CERs for explosive expansion in NC designs. A notable roadblock in this area has been the inability to control the site of cation exchange within the nanostructure, although partial cation exchange at desired sites can open an avenue to the vast structural diversity of nanostructures and accompany new physicochemical properties. Several notable successes have been recorded recently in fabricating predesigned hetero-nanostructures by thoroughly understanding the principles of cation exchange and by exploiting the peculiarity of each crystal system. Herein, recent advances achieved in the CER are introduced, unraveling the critical factors controlling regiospecificity by analyzing the developed theories and accumulated experimental results. It is further described how this knowledge can be harnessed to design advanced NCs, and the beneficial effect of regiospecificity on material properties is highlighted. Finally, the challenges and research directions are provided to encourage further research in this burgeoning field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2200063
JournalSmall Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Y.H., S.V., and S.J. contributed equally to this work. This work was supported by National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF, grant numbers 2021R1C1C1013018, 2019R1A6A1A11044070, 2021M3H4A1A02049916) and Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning(KETEP) grant funded by the Korea government(MOTIE), grant no. 20203020030010. Y.H. acknowledges Global Ph.D. Fellowship (NRF−2018H1A2A1062618).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Small Science published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.


  • anion exchange
  • cation exchange
  • copper sulfide
  • heterostructures
  • regiospecificity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)


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