Nanoparticle Metamorphosis: An in Situ High-Temperature Transmission Electron Microscopy Study of the Structural Evolution of Heterogeneous Au:Fe 2 O 3 Nanoparticles

William J. Baumgardner, Yingchao Yu, Robert Hovden, Shreyas Honrao, Richard G. Hennig, Héctor D. Abruña, David A. Muller, Tobias Hanrath

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High-temperature in situ electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction have revealed that Au and Fe2O3 particles fuse in a fluid fashion at temperatures far below their size-reduced melting points. With increasing temperature, the fused particles undergo a sequence of complex structural transformations from surface alloy to phase segregated and ultimately core-shell structures. The combination of in situ electron microscopy and spectroscopy provides insights into fundamental thermodynamic and kinetic aspects governing the formation of heterogeneous nanostructures. The observed structural transformations present an interesting analogy to thin film growth on the curved surface of a nanoparticle. Using single-particle observations, we constructed a phase diagram illustrating the complex relationships among composition, morphology, temperature, and particle size. © 2014 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5315-5322
Number of pages8
JournalACS Nano
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 5 2014
Externally publishedYes

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