Lattice strain-enhanced exsolution of nanoparticles in thin films

Hyeon Han, Jucheol Park, Sang Yeol Nam, Gyeong Man Choi, Stuart S.P. Parkin, Hyun Myung Jang, John T. S. Irvine

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Abstract

Nanoparticles formed on oxide surfaces are of key importance in many fields such as catalysis and renewable energy. Here, we control B-site exsolution via lattice strain to achieve a high degree of exsolution of nanoparticles in perovskite thin films: more than 1100 particles μm−2 with a particle size as small as ~5 nm can be achieved via strain control. Compressive-strained films show a larger number of exsolved particles as compared with tensile-strained films. Moreover, the strain-enhanced in situ growth of nanoparticles offers high thermal stability and coking resistance, a low reduction temperature (550 oC), rapid release of particles, and wide tunability. The mechanism of lattice strain-enhanced exsolution is illuminated by thermodynamic and kinetic aspects, emphasizing the unique role of the misfit-strain relaxation energy. This study provides critical insights not only into the design of new forms of nanostructures but also applications ranging from catalysis, energy conversion/storage, nano-composites, nano-magnetism, to nano-optics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1471
Number of pages8
JournalNature Communications
Volume10
Early online date1 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

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