The present invention provides a method of preparing aluminum-doped zinc oxide (AZO) nanocrystals. In an exemplary embodiment, the method includes (1) injecting a precursor mixture of a zinc precursor, an aluminum precursor, an amine, and a fatty acid in a solution of a vicinal diol in a non-coordinating solvent, thereby resulting in a reaction mixture, (2) precipitating the nanocrystals from the reaction mixture, thereby resulting in a final precipitate, and (3) dissolving the final precipitate in an apolar solvent. The present invention also provides a dispersion. In an exemplary embodiment, the dispersion includes (1) nanocrystals that are well separated from each other, where the nanocrystals are coated with surfactants and (2) an apolar solvent where the nanocrystals are suspended in the apolar solvent. The present invention also provides a film. In an exemplary embodiment, the film includes (1) a substrate and (2) nanocrystals that are evenly distributed on the substrate.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-ACO2-05CH11231 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in this invention.