Thermally stable coexistence of liquid and solid phases in gallium nanoparticles.
Gallium (Ga), a group III metal, is of fundamental interest due to its polymorphism and unusual phase transition behaviours. New solid phases have been observed when Ga is confined at the nanoscale. Herein, we demonstrate the stable coexistence, from 180 K to 800 K, of the unexpected solid γ-phase core and a liquid shell in substrate-supported Ga nanoparticles. We show that the support plays a fundamental role in determining Ga nanoparticle phases, with the driving forces for the nucleation of the γ-phase being the Laplace pressure in the nanoparticles and the epitaxial relationship of this phase to the substrate. We exploit the change in the amplitude of the evolving surface plasmon resonance of Ga nanoparticle ensembles during synthesis to reveal in real time the solid core formation in the liquid Ga nanoparticle. Finally, we provide a general framework for understanding how nanoscale confinement, interfacial and surface energies, and crystalline relationships to the substrate enable and stabilize the coexistence of unexpected phases.
Losurdo, M; Suvorova, A; Rubanov, S; Hingerl, K; Brown, AS
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)