Single Ag nanoparticle collisions within a dual-electrode micro-gap cell†
An adjustable width (between 600 nm and 20 μm) gap between two Au microelectrodes is used to probe the electrodissolution dynamics of single Ag nanoparticles. One Au microelectrode is used to drive the oxidation and subsequent dissolution of a single Ag nanoparticle, which displays a multi-peak oxidation behavior, while a second Au microelectrode is used to collect the Ag+ that is produced. Careful analysis of the high temporal resolution current–time traces reveals capacitive coupling between electrodes due to the sudden injection of Ag+ ions into the gap between the electrodes. The current–time traces allow measurement of the effect of citrate concentration on the electrodissolution dynamics of a single Ag nanoparticle, which reveals that the presence of 2 mM citrate significantly slows down the release of Ag+. Intriguingly, these experiments also reveal that only a portion (ca. 50%) of the oxidized Ag nanoparticle is released as free Ag+ regardless of citrate concentration.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Electrochemistry at nano-interfaces