EPJB Colloquium - Embedded nanocrystals get reshaped by ion beams

A new Colloquium paper published in EPJ B looks at ion irradiation techniques as a means to control the structure of nanoclusters and nanocrystals embedded in solid materials, such as silica or silicon.

Embedding nanoparticles in a solid matrix prevents aggregation, protects them from the environment, lends structural stability and sometimes it can even stabilize nanoclusters that would otherwise not last long in a certain metastable state.

Rather than focusing on synthetic techniques, the article focusses on the possibility to use ion irradiation to modify and control embedded nanoparticles and nanoclusters, after their synthesis. Size, shape and distribution within the solid matrix are all parameter that may be controlled through skilful application of ion irradiation techniques. Swift heavy ions have been particularly useful in changing the shape of nanoparticle from spherical to elongated (rod-like) nanoparticles. Of course, mastering the techniques requires a close understanding of the effects of radiations of these materials. The Colloquium addresses all these issues by discussing the results of both experimental and computational studies.

ISSN: 2195-7045 (Electronic Edition)

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