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Direct imaging of core-shell structure in silver-gold bimetallic nanoparticles

Li, Z.Y. and Yuan, J. and Chen, Yu and Palmer, R.E. and Wilcoxon, J.P. (2005) Direct imaging of core-shell structure in silver-gold bimetallic nanoparticles. Applied Physics Letters, 87 (24). ISSN 0003-6951

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High-angle annular dark field imaging in the electron microscope has been exploited to reveal the internal structure of monodispersed, bimetallic gold (Au) - silver (Ag) nanoparticles of similar to 4 nm diameter, prepared using a seed-growth wet chemical method and passivated with an organic layer. Starting with a 3 nm Ag seed particle, deposition of Au atoms to a final overall atomic ratio of Ag:Au=1:2 leads to nanoparticles with an Ag-rich core and an Au-rich shell, as expected. If the overall atomic ratio is 2:1, the core/shell structure is not observed. The physical significance of these observations is discussed in terms of the stability of particles of nanoscale dimensions.