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Thermally induced alloying processes in a bimetallic system at the nanoscale: AgAu sub-5 nm core–shell particles studied at atomic resolution

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Abstract

Alloying processes in nanometre-sized Ag@Au and Au@Ag core@shell particles with average radii of 2 nm are studied via high resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) imaging on in situ heatable carbon substrates. The bimetallic clusters are synthesized in small droplets of superfluid helium under fully inert conditions. After deposition, they are monitored during a heating cycle to 600 K and subsequent cooling. The core–shell structure, a sharply defined feature of the TEM High-Angle Annular Dark-Field images taken at room temperature, begins to blur with increasing temperature and transforms into a fully mixed alloy around 573 K. This transition is studied at atomic resolution, giving insights into the alloying process with unprecedented precision. A new image-processing method is presented, which allows a measurement of the temperature-dependent diffusion constant at the nanoscale. The first quantification of this property for a bimetallic structure <5 nm sheds light on the thermodynamics of finite systems and provides new input for current theoretical models derived from bulk data.

Graphical abstract: Thermally induced alloying processes in a bimetallic system at the nanoscale: AgAu sub-5 nm core–shell particles studied at atomic resolution

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Sep 2017, accepted on 31 Dec 2017 and first published on 02 Jan 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR07286D
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018, Advance Article
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Thermally induced alloying processes in a bimetallic system at the nanoscale: AgAu sub-5 nm core–shell particles studied at atomic resolution

    M. Lasserus, M. Schnedlitz, D. Knez, R. Messner, A. Schiffmann, F. Lackner, A. W. Hauser, F. Hofer and W. E. Ernst, Nanoscale, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR07286D

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