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Article Dans Une Revue Physical Review Letters Année : 2023

Atomic-Scale Surface Segregation in Copper-Gold Nanoparticles


We combine electron microscopy measurements of the surface compositions in Cu-Au nanoparticles and atomistic simulations to investigate the effect of gold segregation. While this mechanism has been extensively investigated within Cu-Au in the bulk state, it was never studied at the atomic level in nanoparticles. By using energy dispersive x-ray analysis across the (100) and (111) facets of nanoparticles, we provide evidence of gold segregation in Cu3Au and CuAu3 nanoparticles in the 10 nm size range grown by epitaxy on a salt surface with high control of the nanoparticles morphology. To get atomic-scale insights into the segregation properties in Cu-Au nanoparticles on the whole composition range, we perform Monte Carlo calculations employing N-body interatomic potentials highlighting a complete segregation of Au in the (100) and (111) facets for gold nominal composition above 70% and 60%, respectively. Furthermore, we show that there is no size effect on the segregation behavior since we evidence the same oscillating concentration profile from the surface to the nanoparticle’s core as in the bulk. These results shed new light on the interpretation of the enhanced reactivity, selectivity, and stability of Cu-Au nanoparticles in various catalytic reactions.


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Dates et versions

hal-04182569 , version 1 (20-02-2023)
hal-04182569 , version 2 (08-09-2023)



Grégoire Breyton, Hakim Amara, Jaysen Nelayah, Jérôme Creuze, Hazar Guesmi, et al.. Atomic-Scale Surface Segregation in Copper-Gold Nanoparticles. Physical Review Letters, 2023, 130 (23), pp.236201. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevLett.130.236201⟩. ⟨hal-04182569v2⟩
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