Tracking Metal Electrodeposition Dynamics from Nucleation and Growth of a Single Atom to a Crystalline Nanoparticle

Hussein, Haytham E. M., Maurer, Reinhard J., Amari, Houari , Peters, Jonathan J. P., Meng, Lingcong, Beanland, Richard, Newton, Mark E. and Macpherson, Julie V. (2018) Tracking Metal Electrodeposition Dynamics from Nucleation and Growth of a Single Atom to a Crystalline Nanoparticle. ACS Nano, 12 (7). pp. 7388-7396. ISSN 1936-0851

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In electrodeposition the key challenge is to obtain better control over nanostructure morphology. Currently, a lack of understanding exists concerning the initial stages of nucleation and growth, which ultimately impact the physicochemical properties of the resulting entities. Using identical location scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), with boron-doped diamond (BDD) serving as both an electron-transparent TEM substrate and electrode, we follow this process, from the formation of an individual metal atom through to a crystalline metal nanoparticle, under potential pulsed conditions. In doing so, we reveal the importance of electrochemically driven atom transport, atom cluster formation, cluster progression to a nanoparticle, and the mechanism by which neighboring particles interact during growth. Such information will help formulate improved nucleation and growth models and promote wider uptake of electrodeposited structures in a wide range of societally important applications. This type of measurement is possible in the TEM because the BDD possesses inherent stability, has an extremely high thermal conductivity, is electron beam transparent, is free from contamination, and is robust enough for multiple deposition and imaging cycles. Moreover, the platform can be operated under conditions such that we have confidence that the dynamic atom events we image are truly due to electrochemically driven deposition and no other factors, such as electron-beam-induced movement.

Keywords:electrodeposition, atom, nanoparticle, gold, boron-doped diamond, transmission electron microscopy, identical-location
Divisions:College of Science > School of Chemistry
ID Code:47283
Deposited On:18 Nov 2021 10:15

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