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Nanotechnology. 2010 Oct 8;21(40):405602. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/21/40/405602. Epub 2010 Sep 10.

Liquid injection atomic layer deposition of silver nanoparticles.

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.


Silver nanoparticles are being developed for applications in plasmonics, catalysts and analytical methods, amongst others. Herein, we demonstrate the growth of silver nanoparticles using an atomic layer deposition (ALD) process for the first time. The silver was deposited from pulses of the organometallic precursor (hfac)Ag(1,5-COD) ((hexafluoroacetylacetonato)silver(I)(1,5-cyclooctadiene)) dissolved in a 0.1 M toluene solution. Catalytic oxidative dehydrogenation of the silver was achieved using intermittent pulses of propanol. The effect of substrate temperature on the size and distribution of nanoparticles has been investigated over the temperature range 110-150 degrees C. Transmission electron microscopy reveals that the nanoparticles consist of face centred cubic, facetted silver crystallites. The localized surface plasmon modes of the nanoparticles have been investigated using electron energy loss spectroscopy mapping. The distributions of plasmons within the ALD nanoparticles are comparable to those grown by solution methods. Both dipolar and quadrupolar resonant modes are observed, which is consistent with previous discrete dipole approximation models. Energy loss mapping of a loss feature at 8.1 eV reveals that it correlates with the bulk or volume region of the silver nanoparticles investigated here.

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