Green manufacturing of metallic nanoparticles: a facile and universal approach to scaling up†
High-yield and continuous synthesis of ultrapure inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) of well-defined size and composition has invariably been one of the major challenges in nanotechnology. Employing green techniques that avoid the use of poisonous and expensive chemicals has been realized as a necessity for manufacturing NPs on an industrial scale. In this communication, we show that a newly developed high-frequency spark (HFS) quenched by a high-purity gas yields a series of monometallic and bimetallic NPs in large quantities, with well-defined (primary) particle size (sub-10 nm) and chemical composition. The mass production rate is linearly dependent on the operating frequency, and can reach up to 1 g h−1, providing a universal and facile technology for producing multicomponent hybrid NPs. Considering also that the methodology requires neither any specialized machinery, nor any chemical reagents, product purification, or any further waste processing, it provides a green, sustainable and versatile platform for manufacturing key building blocks toward industrial scale production.