Quantitative Description of Crystal Nucleation and Growth from in Situ Liquid Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy

Anton V. Ievlev, Stephen Jesse, Thomas J. Chochell, Raymond R. Unocic, Vladimir A. Protopopescu, Sergei V. Kalinin, 2015
collective dynamics of platinum nanoparticle growth
Image courtesy of ACS NANO


Recent advances in liquid cell (scanning) transmission electron microscopy (S)TEM has enabled in situ nanoscale investigations of controlled nanocrystal growth mechanisms. Here, we experimentally and quantitatively investigated the nucleation and growth mechanisms of Pt nanostructures from an aqueous solution of K2PtCl6. Averaged statistical, network, and local approaches have been used for the data analysis and the description of both collective particles dynamics and local growth features. In particular, interaction between neighboring particles has been revealed and attributed to reduction of the platinum concentration in the vicinity of the particle boundary. The local approach for solving the inverse problem showed that particles dynamics can be simulated by a stationary diffusional model. The obtained results are important for understanding nanocrystal formation and growth processes and for optimization of synthesis conditions.

Impact Statement

The nucleation and growth of platinum nanoparticles from a precurser solution of K2PtCl6 was observed using LC-STEM. Comprehensive data analysis of the growth mechanism shows that the nanoparticle growth is controlled by a stationary diffusional transport mechanism.