Ion-exchange transformations allow access to nanocrystalline materials with compositions that are inaccessible via direct synthetic routes. However, additional mechanistic insight into the processes that govern these reactions is needed. We present evidence for the presence of two distinct mechanisms of exchange during anion exchange in CsPbX3 nanocrystals (NCs), ranging in size from 6.5 to 11.5 nm, for transformations from CsPbBr3 to CsPbCl3 or CsPbI3. These NCs exhibit bright luminescence throughout the exchange, allowing their optical properties to be observed in real time, in situ. The iodine exchange presents surface-reaction-limited exchanges allowing all anionic sites within the NC to appear chemically identical, whereas the chlorine exchange presents diffusion-limited exchanges proceeding through a more complicated exchange mechanism. Our results represent the first steps toward developing a microkinetic description of the anion exchange, with implications not only for understanding the lead halide perovskites but also for nanoscale ion exchange in general.

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