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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Structural distortions in 5-10 nm silver nanoparticles under high pressure

  • Author(s): Koski, Kristie J.
  • et al.

We present experimental evidence that silver nanoparticles in the size range of 5-10 nm undergo a reversible structural transformation under hydrostatic pressures up to 10 GPa. We have used x-ray diffraction with a synchrotron light source to investigate pressure-dependent and size-dependent trends in the crystal structure of silver nanoparticles in a hydrostatic medium compressed in a diamond-anvil cell. Results suggest a reversible linear pressure-dependent rhombohedral distortion which has not been previously observed in bulk silver. We propose a mechanism for this transition that considers the bond-length distribution in idealized multiply twinned icosahedral particles. To further support this hypothesis, we also show that similar measurements of single-crystal platinum nanoparticles reveal no such distortions.

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