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On the Two-Step Mechanism for Synthesis of Transition-Metal Nanoparticles

Perala, Siva Rama Krishna and Kumar, Sanjeev (2014) On the Two-Step Mechanism for Synthesis of Transition-Metal Nanoparticles. In: LANGMUIR, 30 (42). pp. 12703-12711.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org / 10.1021/la503199m

Abstract

The two-step particle synthesis mechanism, also known as the Finke-Watzky (1997) mechanism, has emerged as a significant development in the field of nanoparticle synthesis. It explains a characteristic feature of the synthesis of transition metal nanoparticles, an induction period in precursor concentration followed by its rapid sigmoidal decrease. The classical LaMer theory (1950) of particle formation fails to capture this behavior. The two-step mechanism considers slow continuous nucleation and autocatalytic growth of particles directly from precursor as its two kinetic steps. In the present work, we test the two-step mechanism rigorously using population balance models. We find that it explains precursor consumption very well, but fails to explain particle synthesis. The effect of continued nucleation on particle synthesis is not suppressed sufficiently by the rapid autocatalytic growth of particles. The nucleation continues to increase breadth of size distributions to unexpectedly large values as compared to those observed experimentally. A number of variations of the original mechanism with additional reaction steps are investigated next. The simulations show that continued nucleation from the beginning of the synthesis leads to formation of highly polydisperse particles in all of the tested cases. A short nucleation window, realized with delayed onset of nucleation and its suppression soon after in one of the variations, appears as one way to explain all of the known experimental observations. The present investigations clearly establish the need to revisit the two-step particle synthesis mechanism.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the AMER CHEMICAL SOC, 1155 16TH ST, NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20036 USA
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Chemical Engineering
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2015 05:55
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2015 05:55
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/50862

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