NANOMATERIALS: Polyelemental nanoparticle libraries

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Abstract

Multimetallic nanoparticles are useful in many fields, yet there are no effective strategies for synthesizing libraries of such structures, in which architectures can be explored in a systematic and site-specific manner. The absence of these capabilities precludes the possibility of comprehensively exploring such systems. We present systematic studies of individual polyelemental particle systems, in which composition and size can be independently controlled and structure formation (alloy versus phase-separated state) can be understood. We made libraries consisting of every combination of five metallic elements (Au, Ag, Co, Cu, and Ni) through polymer nanoreactor-mediated synthesis. Important insight into the factors that lead to alloy formation and phase segregation at the nanoscale were obtained, and routes to libraries of nanostructures that cannot be made by conventional methods were developed.

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