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Phase formation and stability of alloy phases in free nanoparticles: some insights

Malviya, Kirtiman Deo and Srivastava, Chandan and Chattopadhyay, K (2015) Phase formation and stability of alloy phases in free nanoparticles: some insights. In: RSC ADVANCES, 5 (45). pp. 35541-35550.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1039/c5ra03924j


This paper explores phase formation and phase stability in free nanoparticles of binary alloys. A procedure for estimating the size and composition dependent free energies incorporating the contributions from the interfaces has been presented. Both single phase solid solution and two phase morphology containing interphase interfaces have been considered. A free energy scenario has been evaluated for two binary alloy systems Ag-Ni and Ag-Cu to predict the microstructure of the alloy nanoparticles at different size ranges as a function of composition. Both Ag-Cu and Ag-Ni systems exhibit wide bulk immiscibility. Ag-Ni nanoparticles were synthesized using the wet chemical synthesis technique whereas Ag-Cu nanoparticles were synthesized using laser ablation of a Ag-Cu target immersed in distilled water. Microstructural and compositional characterization of Ag-Ni and Ag-Cu nanoparticles on a single nanoparticle level was conducted using transmission electron microscopy. Nanoparticle microstructures observed from the microscopic investigation have been correlated with thermodynamic calculation results. It is shown that the observed two phase microstructure consisting of Ag-Ni solid solution in partial decomposed state coexisting with pure Ag phases in the case of Ag-Ni nanoparticles can be only be rationalized by invoking the tendency for phase separation of an initial solid solution with increase in nanoparticle size. Smaller sized Ag-Ni nanoparticles prefer a single phase solid solution microstructure. Due to an increase in particle size during the synthesis process the initial solid solution decomposes into an ultrafine scale phase separated microstructure. We have shown that it is necessary to invoke critical point phenomenon and wetting transition in systems showing a critical point that leads to phase separated Ag-Ni nanoparticles providing a catalytic substrate for the nucleation of equilibrium Ag over it. In the case of the Ag-Cu system, we report the experimental observation of a core shell structure at small sizes. This can be rationalized in terms of a metastable solid solution. It is argued that the nucleation barrier can prevent the formation of biphasic morphology with an internal interface. In such a situation, demixing of the solid solution can bring the system to a lower energy configuration. This has lead to the observed core-shell morphology in the Ag-Cu system during room temperature synthesis.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: RSC ADVANCES
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY, THOMAS GRAHAM HOUSE, SCIENCE PARK, MILTON RD, CAMBRIDGE CB4 0WF, CAMBS, ENGLAND
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Materials Engineering (formerly Metallurgy)
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2015 09:39
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2015 09:39
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/51672

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