Tailoring characteristic thermal stability of Ni-Au binary nanocrystals via structure and composition engineering: theoretical insights into structural evolution and atomic inter-diffusion

BQ Li and GZ Xing and HL Wang and RM Wang, AIP ADVANCES, 4, 117132 (2014).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4902341

We report on the structural evolution and atomic inter-diffusion characteristics of the bimetallic Ni-Au nanocrystals (NCs) by molecular dynamics simulations studies. Our results reveal that the thermal stability dynamics of Ni-Au NCs strongly depends on the atomic configurations. By engineering the structural construction with Ni:Au = 1: 1 atomic composition, compared with core-shell Au@Ni and alloy NCs, the melting point of core-shell Ni@Au NCs is significantly enhanced up to 1215 K. Unexpectedly, with atomic ratio of Au: Ni=1: 9, the melting process initiates from the atoms in the shell of Ni@Au and alloy NCs, while starts from the core of Au@Ni NCs. The corresponding features and evolution process of structural motifs, mixing and segregation are illustrated via a series of dynamic simulations videos. Moreover, our results revealed that the face centered cubic phase Au0.75Ni0.25 favorably stabilizes in NCs form but does not exist in the bulk counterpart, which elucidates the anomalies of previously reported experimental results on such bimetallic NCs. (C) 2014 Author(s).

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