Changes in metal nanoparticle shape and size induced by swift heavy-ion irradiation

M. C. Ridgway*, P. Kluth, R. Giulian, D. J. Sprouster, L. L. Araujo, C. S. Schnohr, D. J. Llewellyn, A. P. Byrne, G. J. Foran, D. J. Cookson

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    52 Citations (Scopus)


    Changes in the shape and size of Co, Pt and Au nanoparticles induced by swift heavy-ion irradiation (SHII) have been characterized using a combination of transmission electron microscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering and X-ray absorption near-edge structure. Elemental nanoparticles of diameters 2-15 nm were first formed in amorphous SiO2 by ion implantation and thermal annealing and then irradiated at room temperature with 27-185 MeV Au ions as a function of fluence. Spherical nanoparticles below a minimum diameter (4-7 nm) remained spherical under SHII but progressively decreased in size as a result of dissolution into the SiO2 matrix. Spherical nanoparticles above the minimum diameter threshold were transformed to elongated rods aligned with the ion beamdirection. The nanorod width saturated at an electronic energy deposition dependent value, progressively increasing from 4-6 to 7-10 nm (at 5-18 keV/nm, respectively) while the nanorod length exhibited a broad distribution consistent with that of the unirradiated spherical nanoparticles. The threshold diameter for spherical nanoparticle elongation was comparable to the saturation value of nanorod width. We correlate this saturation value with the diameter of the molten track induced in amorphous SiO2 by SHII. In summary, changes in nanoparticle shape and size are governed to a large extent by the ion irradiation parameters.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)931-935
    Number of pages5
    JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


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