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Title: Squeezed nanocrystals: equilibrium configuration of metal clusters embedded beneath the surface of a layered material

Abstract

Shapes of functional metallic nanocrystals, typically synthesized either free in solution or supported on surfaces, are key for controlling properties. Here, we consider a novel new class of metallic nanocrystals, copper clusters embedded near the surface of graphite, which can be considered a model system for metals embedded beneath surfaces of layered materials, or beneath supported membranes. We develop a continuum elasticity (CE) model for the equilibrium shape of these islands, and compare its predictions with experimental data. The CE model incorporates appropriate surface energy, adhesion energies, and strain energy. The agreement between the CE model and the data is—with one exception—excellent, both qualitatively and quantitatively, and is achieved with a single adjustable parameter. The model predicts that the embedded island shape is invariant with size, manifest both by constant side slope and by constant aspect ratio. This prediction is rationalized by dimensional analysis of the relevant energetic contributions. The aspect ratio (width : height) of an embedded Cu cluster is much larger than that of a supported but non-embedded Cu cluster, due to resistance of the graphene membrane to deformation. Experimental data diverge from the model predictions only in the case of the aspect ratio of small islands, belowmore » a critical height of ~10 nm. The divergence may be due to bending strain, which is treated only approximately in the model. Strong support for the CE model and its interpretation is provided by additional data for embedded Fe clusters. As a result most of these observations and insights should be generally applicable to systems where a metal cluster is embedded beneath a layered material or supported membrane, provided that shape equilibration is possible.« less

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [2]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Northeastern Univ., Boston, MA (United States)
  2. Ames Lab. and Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Ames Laboratory (AMES), Ames, IA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1502871
Report Number(s):
IS-J-9899
Journal ID: ISSN 2040-3364; NANOHL
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231; AC02-07CH11358; 70NANB15H235
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nanoscale
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Nanoscale; Journal ID: ISSN 2040-3364
Publisher:
Royal Society of Chemistry
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY

Citation Formats

Julien, Scott E., Lii-Rosales, Ann, Wan, Kai -Tak, Han, Yong, Tringides, Michael C., Evans, James W., and Thiel, Patricia A. Squeezed nanocrystals: equilibrium configuration of metal clusters embedded beneath the surface of a layered material. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1039/C8NR10549A.
Julien, Scott E., Lii-Rosales, Ann, Wan, Kai -Tak, Han, Yong, Tringides, Michael C., Evans, James W., & Thiel, Patricia A. Squeezed nanocrystals: equilibrium configuration of metal clusters embedded beneath the surface of a layered material. United States. doi:10.1039/C8NR10549A.
Julien, Scott E., Lii-Rosales, Ann, Wan, Kai -Tak, Han, Yong, Tringides, Michael C., Evans, James W., and Thiel, Patricia A. Mon . "Squeezed nanocrystals: equilibrium configuration of metal clusters embedded beneath the surface of a layered material". United States. doi:10.1039/C8NR10549A. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1502871.
@article{osti_1502871,
title = {Squeezed nanocrystals: equilibrium configuration of metal clusters embedded beneath the surface of a layered material},
author = {Julien, Scott E. and Lii-Rosales, Ann and Wan, Kai -Tak and Han, Yong and Tringides, Michael C. and Evans, James W. and Thiel, Patricia A.},
abstractNote = {Shapes of functional metallic nanocrystals, typically synthesized either free in solution or supported on surfaces, are key for controlling properties. Here, we consider a novel new class of metallic nanocrystals, copper clusters embedded near the surface of graphite, which can be considered a model system for metals embedded beneath surfaces of layered materials, or beneath supported membranes. We develop a continuum elasticity (CE) model for the equilibrium shape of these islands, and compare its predictions with experimental data. The CE model incorporates appropriate surface energy, adhesion energies, and strain energy. The agreement between the CE model and the data is—with one exception—excellent, both qualitatively and quantitatively, and is achieved with a single adjustable parameter. The model predicts that the embedded island shape is invariant with size, manifest both by constant side slope and by constant aspect ratio. This prediction is rationalized by dimensional analysis of the relevant energetic contributions. The aspect ratio (width : height) of an embedded Cu cluster is much larger than that of a supported but non-embedded Cu cluster, due to resistance of the graphene membrane to deformation. Experimental data diverge from the model predictions only in the case of the aspect ratio of small islands, below a critical height of ~10 nm. The divergence may be due to bending strain, which is treated only approximately in the model. Strong support for the CE model and its interpretation is provided by additional data for embedded Fe clusters. As a result most of these observations and insights should be generally applicable to systems where a metal cluster is embedded beneath a layered material or supported membrane, provided that shape equilibration is possible.},
doi = {10.1039/C8NR10549A},
journal = {Nanoscale},
issn = {2040-3364},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {3}
}

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Works referenced in this record:

Shape-Controlled Synthesis of Metal Nanocrystals: Simple Chemistry Meets Complex Physics?
journal, December 2008

  • Xia, Younan; Xiong, Yujie; Lim, Byungkwon
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Progress, Challenges, and Opportunities in Two-Dimensional Materials Beyond Graphene
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Measurement of the Elastic Properties and Intrinsic Strength of Monolayer Graphene
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