A flexible way to generate bimetallic nanoparticles with high control of their composition is to use spark ablation of alloyed electrodes. It has been generally accepted and stated that particles produced using spark ablation of alloyed electrodes obtain the same chemical composition as the electrodes. However, we identify a lack of studies fully supporting the connection between electrode and particle composition, presented in a small literature survey. The aim of the study is, hence, to explore the validity of the statement by analysing the relation between alloyed electrodes and their resulting particle composition using three sets of AgAu electrodes containing Au and 25, 50, and 75 atomic % Ag, respectively. The resulting composition is thoroughly investigated using both single particle (scanning- and transmission electron microscopy) and ensemble particle techniques (inductive coupled plasma-mass spectroscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, x-ray fluorescence, and optical measurements of surface plasmon resonance. We also investigate how sample size (e.g., the number of particles analysed) affects the reliability of the resulting sample mean. For single-particle measurements of a sample with a compositional standard deviation of a few atomic percentage points, a sample size of 20 particles is a good benchmark for obtaining reliable results of the sample mean. Furthermore, this article aims to challenge the practice in which the composition of nanoparticles is measured, presented, and interpreted, to improve and facilitate future research related to this topic. From the results of this study, it could be concluded that for the investigated Ag–Au material system, the particles obtained a composition very similar to the alloyed AgAu electrodes.
TidskriftJournal of Aerosol Science
StatusPublished - 2024 jan. 3

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