Now researchers from North Carolina State University have learned how to consistently create hollow, solid and amorphous nanoparticles of nickel phosphide, which has potential uses in the development of solar cells and as catalysts for removing sulfur from fuel. Their work can now serve as a “how-to” guide for other researchers to controllably create hollow, solid and amorphous nanoparticles – in order to determine what special properties they may have.
The study provides a step-by-step analysis of how to create solid or hollow nanoparticles that are all made of the same material. “It’s been known that these structures could be made,” says Dr. Joe Tracy, an assistant professor of material science engineering at NC State and co-author of the paper, “but this research provides us with a comprehensive understanding of nanostructural control during nanoparticle formation, showing how to consistently obtain different structures in the lab.” The study also shows how to create solid nanoparticles that are amorphous, meaning they do not have a crystalline structure.
Tracy explains that there is a great deal of interest in the formation of hollow nanoparticles and amorphous nanoparticles. But for many kinds of nanoparticles, there had previously been no clear understanding of how to control the formation of these structures. As a result of the new study, Tracy says, “nanoparticles with desired structures can be made more consistently, making it easier for researchers to determine their electronic, optical and catalytic properties.” For example, amorphous nanoparticles may be of use in future electronic applications or for nanostructure fabrication. Tracy stresses that while the NC State researchers were able to show how to create hollow nanoparticles and amorphous nanoparticles, they were not able to create nanoparticles that were both hollow and amorphous.
The study could also have implications for many additional types of nanoparticles, not just nickel phosphide. Tracy says that the findings “could provide important insights for further studies to control the structures of many other kinds of nanoparticles, with a wide array of potential applications.” These could include metal oxide, sulfide, selenide and phosphide nanoparticles.
Specifically, the researchers found that they could control whether nickel phosphide nanoparticles would be hollow or solid by adjusting the ratio of phosphorus to nickel reactants when they synthesized the nanoparticles. The researchers found that they could create amorphous solid nanoparticles by controlling the temperature.
The study, “Nickel Phosphide Nanoparticles with Hollow, Solid, and Amorphous Structures,” was co-authored by Tracy, NC State post-doctoral researcher Junwei Wang and NC State Ph.D. student Aaron Johnston-Peck. The research was funded by NC State and the National Science Foundation, and was published online by Chemistry of Materials.
Matt Shipman | EurekAlert!
Scientists have a new way to gauge the growth of nanowires
19.03.2018 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
Researchers demonstrate existence of new form of electronic matter
15.03.2018 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...
On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...
The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...
At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.
When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
19.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
19.03.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.03.2018 | Event News