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Pulsing Liquid Alloys for Nanomaterials Synthesis

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journal contribution
posted on 21.09.2020, 22:50 by Mohannad Mayyas, Maedehsadat Mousavi, Mohammad B. Ghasemian, Roozbeh Abbasi, Hongzhe Li, Michael J. Christoe, Jialuo Han, Yifang Wang, Chengchen Zhang, Md. Arifur Rahim, Jianbo Tang, Jiong Yang, Dorna Esrafilzadeh, Rouhollah Jalili, Francois-Marie Allioux, Anthony P. O’Mullane, Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh
Although it remains unexplored, the direct synthesis and expulsion of metals from alloys can offer many opportunities. Here, such a phenomenon is realized electrochemically by applying a polarizing voltage signal to liquid alloys. The signal induces an abrupt interfacial perturbation at the Ga-based liquid alloy surface and results in an unrestrained discharge of minority elements, such as Sn, In, and Zn, from the liquid alloy. We show that this can occur by either changing the surface tension or inducing a reversible redox reaction at the alloys’ interface. The expelled metals exhibit nanosized and porous morphologies, and depending on the cell electrochemistry, these metals can be passivated with oxide layers or fully oxidized into distinct nanostructures. The proposed concept of metal expulsion from liquid alloys can be extended to a wide variety of molten metals for producing metallic and metallic compound nanostructures for advanced applications.