Alloy, Janus and core–shell nanoparticles: numerical modeling of their nucleation and growth in physical synthesis
While alloy, core–shell and Janus binary nanoclusters are found in more and more technological applications, their formation mechanisms are still poorly understood, especially during synthesis methods involving physical approaches. In this work, we employ a very simple model of such complex systems using Lennard-Jones interactions and inert gas quenching. After demonstrating the ability of the model to well reproduce the formation of alloy, core–shell or Janus nanoparticles, we studied their temporal evolution from the gas via droplets to nanocrystalline particles. In particular, we showed that the growth mechanisms exhibit qualitative differences between these three chemical orderings. Then, we determined how the quenching rate can be used to finely tune structural characteristics of the final nanoparticles, including size, shape and crystallinity.