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A Metal-on-Metal Growth Approach to Metal–Metal Oxide Core–Shell Nanostructures with Plasmonic Properties

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journal contribution
posted on 28.07.2020, 16:08 by Cameron C. Crane, Ryan H. Manso, Jun Li, Mourad Benamara, Jing Tao, Yimei Zhu, Feng Wang, Jingyi Chen
Hybrid core–shell nanoparticles integrate the material properties from individual components; however, the synthesis of core–shell nanoparticles with dissimilar materials remains challenging. In this work, we applied a metal-on-metal thin film growth approach to control the conformal deposition of non-precious metal shells on the Cu-based metal cores to form core–shell structures of metal–metal oxide hybrids (M–M′Ox, where M = AuCu3 or Cu, M′ = Fe, Mn, and Ni). The deposition kinetics were controlled by a temperature-regulated thermal decomposition of zerovalent transition metal complexes. It is predicted that the conformal deposition can be promoted by keeping the initial deposition temperature close to the thermal decomposition temperature of the zerovalent precursors. The mechanisms of strain reduction and interdiffusion facilitate conformal deposition over island growth in the synthesis with slow reaction kinetics. This study provides insightful guidance to metal-on-metal growth in solution at the nanoscale and thus the seed-mediated approach to hybrid core–shell structures. The optical properties of these metal–metal oxide hybrids were investigated experimentally and interpreted by theoretical simulations. Despite damping effects, the plasmonic properties of these Cu-based core-metal oxide shell structures may have the potential to enable plasmon-enhanced applications.