Chemistry Department Seminar

"Nanoparticle Beam Deposition: A Novel Route to the Solvent-Free"

Presented by Richard E. Palmer, Nanomaterials Lab, Swansea University, UK, United Kingdom

Tuesday, July 16, 2019, 11:00 am — Room 300, 3rd Floor, Chemistry Building 555

Size-selected nanoparticles (atomic clusters), deposited onto supports from the beam in the absence of solvents, represent a new class of model systems for catalysis research and possibly small-scale manufacturing of selective catalysts. To translate these novel and well-controlled systems into practical use, two major challenges have to be addressed. (1) Very rarely have the actual structures of clusters been obtained from direct experimental measurements, so the metrology of these new material systems have to improve. The availability of aberration-corrected HAADF STEM is transforming our approach to this structure challenge [1,2]. I will address the atomic structures of size-selected Au clusters, deposited onto standard carbon TEM supports from a mass-selected cluster beam source. Specific examples considered are the "magic number clusters" Au20, Au55, Au309, Au561, and Au923. The results expose, for example, the metastability of frequently observed structures, the nature of equilibrium amongst competing isomers, and the cluster surface and core melting points as a function of size. The cluster beam approach is applicable to more complex nanoparticles too, such as oxides and sulphides [3]. (2) A second major challenge is scale-up, needed to enable the beautiful physics and chemistry of clusters to be exploited in applications, notably catalysis [4]. Compared with the (powerful) colloidal route, the nanocluster beam approach [5] involves no solvents and no ligands, while particles can be size selected by a mass filter, and alloys with challenging combinations of metals can readily be produced. However, the cluster approach has been held back by extremely low rates of particle production, only 1 microgram per hour, sufficient for surface science studies but well below what is desirable even for research-level realistic reaction studies. In an effort to address this scale-up challenge, I will discuss the development of a new kind of nanop

Hosted by: Michael White

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