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Deposition of size-selected nanoclusters

Cao, Lu (2016)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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The work presented in this thesis explores the production and the controlled deposition of size-selected nanoclusters. The size-dependent propagation of gold nanoclusters is investigated by depositing them through few-layer graphene (FLG) using a magnetron sputtering cluster source. Au55 nanoclusters penetrate through the FLG, however Au923 nanoclusters remain on the surface, as imaged by aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscope (ac-STEM). The control of the atomic structure of gold nanoclusters (Au923) by systematically varying the gas-phase condensation parameters in the magnetron sputtering cluster source (e.g. magnetron power and condensation length) is also reported. Results show we have the ability to eliminate all icosahedral isomers by tuning the formation conditions. The biggest advance reported in the work concerns the new technology of the Matrix Assembly Cluster Source (MACS), which has the potential to increase the production rate of nanoclusters by 7 orders of magnitude from 0. 1-1 nA (from a magnetron source) to 1-1 Om A. The principle of the MACS is demonstrated by the production of Ag and Au clusters. The development of the latest MACS instrument is also described. An equivalent cluster beam current of ~ 1OOnA has been achieved. Gold and silver clusters produced under controlled experimental conditions show a relatively narrow size distribution even without mass selection (at best ±25% in the number of atoms). The mean cluster size can be controlled via the experimental parameters, especially the metal concentration in the matrix. STEM is again the principal tool employed characterize the number and structure of cluster produced by the MACS.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Palmer, Richard E. and Yin, Feng and Plant, Simon R
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:School of Physics and Astronomy
Additional Information:

Publications resulting from research:

Plant, Simon R., et al. "Size-dependent propagation of Au nanoclusters through few-layer graphene." Nanoscale 6.3 (2014): 1258-1263.

Plant, Simon R., Lu Cao, and Richard E. Palmer. "Atomic structure control of size-selected gold nanoclusters during formation." Journal of the American Chemical Society 136.21 (2014): 7559-7562.

Subjects:QC Physics
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:6616
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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