Characterization of core-shell nanoparticles by small angle neutron scattering


The Ni3Si-type nanoparticles dispersed in a mixture of H2O/D2O were characterised by SANS using the contrast variation method. The existence of a core-shell structure in the nanoparticles with a Ni3Si(Al) core and amorphous SiOx shell is confirmed by the SANS measurements. The nanoparticles were produced by extracting precipitates from a bulk Ni-13.3Si-2Al ( at.%) alloy using electrochemical phase separation technique and were pre-characterised by X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. By comparing the precipitate morphology in the Ni-Si-Al alloy with the extracted nanoparticles in the SANS measurements, it is clearly established that the precipitates shape and size are unaffected by the extraction process and that the amorphous shell forms on top of the particle core. However, the present measurement could not confirm or exclude the presence of H atoms in the shell structure.
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