4.8 Article

Disorder-to-Order Transition Mediated by Size Refocusing: A Route toward Monodisperse Intermetallic Nanoparticles


Volume 19, Issue 9, Pages 6418-6423


DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b02610


Size refocusing; nanoparticles; disorder-to-order transition; intermetallic


  1. Indiana University
  2. U.S. DOE BES Award [DE-SC0018961]
  3. U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) [DE-SC0018961] Funding Source: U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

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Intermetallic nanoparticles are remarkable due to their often enhanced catalytic, magnetic, and optical properties, which arise from their ordered crystal structures and high structural stability. Typical syntheses of intermetallic nanoparticles include thermal annealing of the disordered counterpart in atmosphere (or vacuum) or colloidal syntheses, where the phase transformation is achieved in solution. Although both methods can produce intermetallic nanoparticles, there is difficulty in achieving monodisperse nano-particles, which is critical to exploiting their properties for various applications. Here, we show that overgrowth on random alloy AuCu nanoparticles mediated by size refocusing yields monodisperse intermetallic AuCu nanoparticles. Size refocusing has been used in syntheses of semiconductor and upconverting nanocrystals to achieve monodisperse samples, but now we demonstrate size refocusing as a mechanism to achieve the disorder-to-order phase transformation in multimetallic nanoparticles. The phase transformation was monitored by time evolution experiments, where analysis of reaction aliquots with transmission electron microscopy and powder X-ray diffraction revealed the generation and dissolution of small nanoparticles coupled with an increase in the average size of the nanoparticles and conversion to the ordered phase. This demonstration advances the understanding of intermetallic nanoparticle formation in colloidal syntheses, which can expedite the development of electrocatalysts and magnetic storage materials.


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