The present invention provides methods for synthesis of IV VI nanostructures, and thermoelectric compositions formed of such structures. In one aspect, the method includes forming a solution of a Group IV reagent, a Group VI reagent and a surfactant. A reducing agent can be added to the solution, and the resultant solution can be maintained at an elevated temperature, e.g., in a range of about 20.degree. C. to about 360.degree. C., for a duration sufficient for generating nanoparticles as binary alloys of the IV VI elements.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
The U.S. Government has rights in this invention pursuant to contract Nos. 5000486 and NAS3-03108 awarded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), grant No. NIRT 0304506 awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and grant No. DE-FG02-00ER45805 awarded by the Department of Energy (DOE).