L. Martínez, K. Lauwaet, G. Santoro, J. M. Sobrado, R. J. Peláez, V. J. Herrero, I. Tanarro, G. J. Ellis, J. Cernicharo, C. Joblin, Y. Huttel,. J. A. Martín-Gago. 2018. Precisely controlled fabrication, manipulation and in-situ analysis of Cu based nanoparticles. Scientific Reports 8, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-25472-y
The increasing demand for nanostructured materials is mainly motivated by their key role in a wide variety of technologically relevant fields such as biomedicine, green sustainable energy or catalysis. We have succeeded to scale-up a type of gas aggregation source, called a multiple ion cluster source, for the generation of complex, ultra-pure nanoparticles made of different materials. The high production rates achieved (tens of g/day) for this kind of gas aggregation sources, and the inherent ability to control the structure of the nanoparticles in a controlled environment, make this equipment appealing for industrial purposes, a highly coveted aspect since the introduction of this type of sources. Furthermore, our innovative UHV experimental station also includes in-flight manipulation and processing capabilities by annealing, acceleration, or interaction with background gases along with in-situ characterization of the clusters and nanoparticles fabricated. As an example to demonstrate some of the capabilities of this new equipment, herein we present the fabrication of copper nanoparticles and their processing, including the controlled oxidation (from Cu-0 to CuO through Cu2O, and their mixtures) at different stages in the machine.