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On the Effects of Diluted and Mixed Ionic Liquids as Liquid Substrates for the Sputter Synthesis of Nanoparticles

Materials Discovery and Interfaces, Institute for Materials, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Ruhr University Bochum, Universitätsstr. 150, D-44780 Bochum, Germany
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Nanomaterials 2020, 10(3), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10030525
Received: 20 February 2020 / Revised: 9 March 2020 / Accepted: 12 March 2020 / Published: 14 March 2020
The synthesis of nanoparticles by combinatorial sputtering in ionic liquids is a versatile approach for discovering new materials. Whereas the influence on nanoparticle formation of different pure ionic liquids has been addressed, the influence of (I) dilution of ionic liquid with solvents and (II) different mixtures of ionic liquids is less known. Therefore, mixtures of the ionic liquid [Bmim][(Tf)2N] with the organic solvent anisole and other ionic liquids ([Bmim][(Pf)2N], [BmPyr][(Tf)2N]) were used as liquid substrates for the sputter synthesis of nanoparticles, in order to investigate the influence of these mixtures on the size of the nanoparticles. First, mixtures of anisole with a suspension of sputtered Ag nanoparticles in [Bmim][(Tf)2N] were prepared in different volumetric steps to investigate if the stabilization of the NPs by the ionic liquid could be reduced by the solvent. However, a continuous reduction in nanoparticle size and amount with increasing anisole volume was observed. Second, Ag, Au and Cu were sputtered on ionic liquid mixtures. Ag nanoparticles in [Bmim][(Tf)2N]/[Bmim][(Pf)2N] mixtures showed a decrease in size with the increasing volumetric fraction of [Bmim][(Tf)2N], whereas all nanoparticles obtained from [Bmim][(Tf)2N]/[BmPyr][(Tf)2N] mixtures showed increasing size and broadening of the size distribution. Maximum sizes of sputtered Ag and Au NPs were reached in mixtures of [Bmim][(Tf)2N] with 20 vol.% and 40 vol.% [BmPyr][(Tf)2N]. The results indicate that ionic liquid mixtures with different portions of cations and anions have the capability of influencing the ionic liquid stabilization characteristics with respect to, e.g., nanoparticle size and size distribution. View Full-Text
Keywords: ionic liquids; sputter deposition; nanoparticles; ionic liquid mixtures ionic liquids; sputter deposition; nanoparticles; ionic liquid mixtures
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Meischein, M.; Fork, M.; Ludwig, A. On the Effects of Diluted and Mixed Ionic Liquids as Liquid Substrates for the Sputter Synthesis of Nanoparticles. Nanomaterials 2020, 10, 525.

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