Synthesis and modeling of hollow intermetallic Ni-Zn nanoparticles formed by the Kirkendall effect

Subhra Jana, Ji Woong Chang, Robert M. Rioux

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Intermetallic Ni-Zn nanoparticles (NPs) were synthesized via the chemical conversion of nickel NPs using a zerovalent organometallic zinc precursor. After the injection of a diethylzinc solution, Ni NPs progressively transformed from a solid to a hollow Ni-Zn intermetallic structure with time. During the transformation of Ni NPs to intermetallic structures, they retained their overall spherical morphology. The growth mechanism for the solid-to-hollow nanoparticle transformation is ascribed to the nanoscale Kirkendall effect due to unequal diffusion rates of Ni and Zn. We develop a diffusion model for nonreactive, homogeneous, diffusion-controlled intermetallic hollow NP formation including moving boundaries at the interfaces of void-solid and solid-bulk solutions. Apparent diffusion coefficients for both metals and vacancy were evaluated from modeling the time-dependent growth of the void. The apparent diffusion coefficients obtained in this system compared favorably with results from measurement at grain boundaries in bulk Ni-Zn. This study represents the first combined experimental modeling of the formation of hollow nanostructures by the nanoscale Kirkendall effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3618-3625
Number of pages8
JournalNano letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 14 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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