Single-Particle Hyperspectral Imaging Reveals Kinetics of Silver Ion Leaching from Alloy Nanoparticles
Gold–silver alloy nanoparticles are interesting for multiple applications, including heterogeneous catalysis, optical sensing, and antimicrobial properties. The inert element gold acts as a stabilizer for silver to prevent particle corrosion, or conversely, to control the release kinetics of antimicrobial silver ions for long-term efficiency at minimum cytotoxicity. However, little is known about the kinetics of silver ion leaching from bimetallic nanoparticles and how it is correlated with silver content, especially not on a single-particle level. To characterize the kinetics of silver ion release from gold–silver alloy nanoparticles, we employed a combination of electron microscopy and single-particle hyperspectral imaging with an acquisition speed fast enough to capture the irreversible silver ion leaching. Single-particle leaching profiles revealed a reduction in silver ion leaching rate due to the alloying with gold as well as two leaching stages, with a large heterogeneity in rate constants. We modeled the initial leaching stage as a shrinking-particle with a rate constant that exponentially depends on the silver content. The second, slower leaching stage is controlled by the electrochemical oxidation potential of the alloy being steadily increased by the change in relative gold content and diffusion of silver atoms through the lattice. Interestingly, individual nanoparticles with similar sizes and compositions exhibited completely different silver ion leaching yields. Most nanoparticles released silver completely, but 25% of them appeared to arrest leaching. Additionally, nanoparticles became slightly porous. Alloy nanoparticles, produced by scalable laser ablation in liquid, together with kinetic studies of silver ion leaching, provide an approach to design the durability or bioactivity of alloy nanoparticles.
single-particle spectroscopy; plasmon resonance; nanosilver; laser-generated nanoparticles; corrosion
Citable link to this pagehttps://hdl.handle.net/1911/110699
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