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Influence of air exposure on structural isomers of silver nanoparticles

DOI: 10.1038/s42004-023-00813-9 DOI Help

Authors: Jerome Vernieres (Technical University of Denmark; Swansea University) , Nathalie Tarrat (CEMES, Université de Toulouse, CNRS) , Sean Lethbridge (Swansea University) , Erica Watchorn-Rokutan (Swansea University) , Thomas Slater (Cardiff University) , David Loffreda (ENSL, CNRS, Laboratoire de Chimie UMR 5182) , Richard E. Palmer (Swansea University)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Communications Chemistry , VOL 6

State: Published (Approved)
Published: January 2023
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 24588

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Up to date, the influence of ambient air exposure on the energetics and stability of silver clusters has rarely been investigated and compared to clusters in vacuum. Silver clusters up to 3000 atoms in size, on an amorphous carbon film, have been exposed to ambient air and investigated by atomic-resolution imaging in the aberration-corrected Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope. Ordered structures comprise more than half the population, the rest are amorphous. Here, we show that the most common ordered isomer structures is the icosahedron. These results contrast with the published behaviour of silver clusters protected from atmospheric exposure, where the predominant ordered isomer is face-centred cubic. We propose that the formation of surface oxide or sulphide species resulting from air exposure can account for this deviation in stable isomer. This interpretation is consistent with density functional theory calculations based on silver nanoclusters, in the size range 147-201 atoms, on which methanethiol molecules are adsorbed. An understanding of the effects of ambient exposure on the atomic structure and therefore functional properties of nanoparticles is highly relevant to their real-world performance and applications.

Journal Keywords: Atomistic models; Nanoparticles; Structural properties

Subject Areas: Materials, Chemistry

Diamond Offline Facilities: Electron Physical Sciences Imaging Centre (ePSIC)
Instruments: E01-JEM ARM 200CF

Added On: 29/01/2023 20:59

Discipline Tags:

Physical Chemistry Chemistry Materials Science Nanoscience/Nanotechnology

Technical Tags:

Microscopy Electron Microscopy (EM) Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM)