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Production and characterisation by scanning transmission electron microscopy of size-selected noble metal nanoclusters

Foster, Dawn Michelle (2017)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

In this thesis aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy is employed to study the atomic structure of size-selected nanoclusters. The nanoclusters are produced using a magnetron sputtering gas aggregation cluster source with lateral time of flight mass filter, which enables the deposition of high precision samples. For Au nanoclusters, the combination of these techniques is used to determine atomic structure as a function of size, elucidate cluster growth mechanisms, determine the lowest energy structural isomers and investigate control of atomic structure through growth conditions.
To further investigate the atomic structure of Au nanoclusters, an in-situ heating holder for the ac-STEM is used to extract a quantitative value for the energy difference between competing structural isomers. A study of surface melting of Au clusters on amorphous-carbon is also presented and the results are discussed with reference to several models for nanoscale melting.
Finally, ac-STEM and STEM EELS are used to study the atomic structure and ageing in air of size-selected Ag nanoclusters. It is shown that exposure to air induces a change in both atomic structure and chemical composition.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Palmer, Richard E. and Theis, Wolfgang
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:School of Physics and Astronomy, Nanoscale Physics Research Laboratory
Additional Information:

Publication resulting from research:

Metastability of the atomic structures of size-selected gold nanoparticles. Dawn M. Wells, Giulia Rossi, Riccardo Ferrando and Richard E. Palmer. Nanoscale, 2015, 7, 6498

Subjects:QC Physics
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:7902
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties.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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