In situ Transmission Electron Microscopy observation of Ag nanocrystal evolution by surfactant free electron-driven synthesis

Scientific Reports Volume: 6 Published: 2016

(a) HRTEM image from Movie S1 showing the attachment across a mismatched interface; (b,c) the Fourier transform (FT) of the illustrated region for each NC, (d) HRTEM image after the fusion between NCs I and II.

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Writers: Elson Longo, Waldir Avansi Jr., Jefferson Bettini, Juan Andrés & Lourdes Gracia

Keywords: nanocrystal; Microscopy; nanomaterials

Abstract: The study of the interaction of electron irradiation with matter and the response of the material to the passage of electrons is a very challenging problem. However, the growth mechanism observed during nanostructural evolution appears to be a broad and promising scientific field in nanotechnology. We report the in situ TEM study of nanostructural evolution of electron-driven silver (Ag) nanocrystals through an additive-free synthetic procedure. Observations revealed the direct effect of the electron beam on the morphological evolution of Ag nanocrystals through different mechanisms, such as mass transport, site-selective coalescence, and an appropriate structural configuration after coalescence leading to a more stable configuration. A fundamental understanding of the growth and formation mechanisms of Ag nanocrystals, which interact with the electron beam, is essential to improve the nanocrystal shape-control mechanisms as well as the future design and study of nanomaterials.

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