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In recent years, investigations of the phase transition behavior of semiconducting nanoparticles under high pressure has attracted increasing attention due to their potential applications in sensors, electronics, and optics. However, current understanding of how the size of nanoparticles influences this pressure-dependent property is somewhat lacking. In particular, phase behaviors of semiconducting CdS nanoparticles under high pressure have not been extensively reported. Therefore, in this work, CdS nanoparticles of different sizes are used as a model system to investigate particle size effects on high-pressure-induced phase transition behaviors. In particular, 7.5, 10.6, and 39.7 nm spherical CdS nanoparticles are synthesized and subjected to controlled high pressures up to 15 GPa in a diamond anvil cell. Analysis of all three nanoparticles using in-situ synchrotron wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) data shows that phase transitions from wurtzite to rocksalt occur at higher pressures than for bulk material. Bulk modulus calculations not only show that the wurtzite CdS nanomaterial is more compressible than rocksalt, but also that the compressibility of CdS nanoparticles depends on their particle size. Furthermore, sintering of spherical nanoparticles into nanorods was observed for the 7.5 nm CdS nanoparticles. Our results provide new insights into the fundamental properties of nanoparticles under high pressure that will inform designs of new nanomaterial structures for emerging applications.
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