On the melting point depression, coalescence, and chemical ordering of bimetallic nanoparticles: the miscible Ni-Pt system

E Toulkeridou and J Kioseoglou and P Grammatikopoulos, NANOSCALE ADVANCES, 4, 4819-4828 (2022).

DOI: 10.1039/d2na00418f

Among the properties that distinguish nanoparticles (NPs) from their bulk counterparts is their lower melting points. It is also common knowledge that relatively low melting points enhance the coalescence of (usually) nascent nanoclusters toward larger NPs. Finally, it is well established that the chemical ordering of bi- (or multi-) metallic NPs can have a profound effect on their physical and chemical properties, dictating their potential applications. With these three considerations in mind, we investigated the coalescence mechanisms for Ni and Pt NPs of various configurations using classical molecular dynamics (MD) computer simulations. Benchmarking the coalescence process, we identified a steeper melting point depression for Pt than for Ni, which indicates a reversal in the order of melting for same-size NPs of the two elements. This reversal, also evident in the nano-phase diagram thermodynamically constructed using the regular solution model, may be useful for utilising NP coalescence as a means to design and engineer non- equilibrium NPs via gas-phase synthesis. Indeed, our MD simulations revealed different coalescence mechanisms at play depending on the conditions, leading to segregated chemical orderings such as quasi-Janus core-satellite, or core-(partial) shell NPs, despite the expected theoretical tendency for elemental mixing.

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