Synthesis of plasmonic Fe/Al nanoparticles in ionic liquids†
Bottom-up and top-down approaches are described for the challenging synthesis of Fe/Al nanoparticles (NPs) in ionic liquids (ILs) under mild conditions. The crystalline phase and morphology of the metal nanoparticles synthesized in three different ionic liquids were identified by powder X-ray diffractometry (PXRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), selected-area electron diffraction (SAED) and fast Fourier transform (FFT) of high-resolution TEM images. Characterization was completed by scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX) for the analysis of the element composition of the whole sample consisting of the NPs and the amorphous background. The bottom-up approaches resulted in crystalline FeAl NPs on an amorphous background. The top-down approach revealed small NPs and could be identified as Fe4Al13 NPs which in the IL [OPy][NTf2] yield two absorption bands in the green-blue to green spectral region at 475 and 520 nm which give rise to a complementary red color, akin to appropriate Au NPs.