Growing metal nanoparticles in superfluid helium
Helium droplets provide a cold and confined environment where atomic and/or molecular dopants can aggregate into clusters and nanoparticles. In particular, the sequential addition of different materials to helium droplets can lead to the formation of a wide range of nanoparticles, including core–shell nanoparticles, which can then be deposited onto a surface. Here we briefly discuss the fundamental properties of helium droplets and then address their implications for the formation of clusters and nanoparticles. Several key experiments on atomic and molecular clusters will be highlighted and new results obtained for nanoparticles formed in this way will be presented. Finally, the versatility, the limitations and new possibilities provided by superfluid helium droplets in nanoscience and nanotechnology will be addressed.