Understanding the structure and reactivity of NiCu nanoparticles: an atomistic model†
The structure of bimetallic NiCu nanoparticles (NP) is investigated as a function of their composition and size by means of Lattice MonteCarlo (LMC) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. According to our results, copper segregation takes place at any composition of the particles. We found that this feature is not size-dependent. In contrast, nickel segregation depends on the NP size. When the size increases, Ni atoms tend to remain in the vicinity of the surface and deeper. For smaller NPs, Ni atoms are located at the surface as well. Our results also showed that most of the metal atoms segregated at the surface area were found to decorate edges and/or form islands. Our findings agree qualitatively with the experimental data found in the literature. In addition, we comment on the reactivity of these nanoparticles.