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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Evolution of Ternary AuAgPd Nanoparticles by the Control of Temperature, Thickness, and Tri-Layer

College of Electronics and Information, Kwangwoon University, Seoul 01897, South Korea
Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metals 2017, 7(11), 472;
Received: 19 September 2017 / Revised: 30 October 2017 / Accepted: 30 October 2017 / Published: 4 November 2017
PDF [14010 KB, uploaded 4 November 2017]


Metallic alloy nanoparticles (NPs) possess great potential to enhance the optical, electronic, chemical, and magnetic properties for various applications by the control of morphology and elemental composition. This work presents the fabrication of ternary AuAgPd alloy nanostructures on sapphire (0001) via the solid-state dewetting of sputter-deposited tri-metallic layers. Based on the systematic control of temperature, thickness, and deposition order of tri-layers, the composite AuAgPd alloy nanoparticles (NPs) with various shape, size, and density are demonstrated. The metallic tri-layers exhibit various stages of dewetting based on the increasing growth temperatures between 400 and 900 °C at 15 nm tri-layer film thickness. Specifically, the nucleation of tiny voids and hillocks, void coalescence, the growth and isolated nanoparticle formation, and the shape transformation with Ag sublimation are observed. With the reduced film thickness (6 nm), tiny alloy NPs with improved structural uniformity and spatial arrangement are obtained due to enhanced dewetting. The growth trend of alloy NPs is drastically altered by changing the deposition order of metallic tri-layers. The overall evolution is governed by the surface diffusion and inter-mixing of metallic atoms, Rayleigh-like instability, surface and interface energy minimization, and equilibrium state of the system. The UV-VIS-NIR reflectance spectra reveal the formation of an absorption band and reflectance maxima at specific wavelengths based on the morphology and composition of AuAgPd alloy NPs. In addition, Raman spectra analysis shows the modulation of intensity and peak position of natural vibration modes of sapphire (0001). View Full-Text
Keywords: AuAgPd alloys; solid-state dewetting; alloy nanoparticles; sapphire (0001); plasmonics AuAgPd alloys; solid-state dewetting; alloy nanoparticles; sapphire (0001); plasmonics

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Kunwar, S.; Pandey, P.; Sui, M.; Bastola, S.; Lee, J. Evolution of Ternary AuAgPd Nanoparticles by the Control of Temperature, Thickness, and Tri-Layer. Metals 2017, 7, 472.

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