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Nanoparticle Synthesis and Assembly Faraday Discussion: Recap and My Work

July 27, 2015

Nanoparticle_Synthesis_Assembly_Faraday_Discussion1Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory, site for Faraday Discussion

Faraday Discussion, organized by Faraday Division of Royal Society of Chemistry in UK, is one of the most important international scientific conferences focused on physical chemistry and related fields. The Discussion is named after 18th century English scientist Michael Faraday who discovered electromagnetic induction, and it has been a high impact conference for over 100 years.

Faraday Discussion has a special form that all the presentations are full length research papers which are distributed to all participants before the meeting. The majority of the meeting time is to discuss the papers. Everyone contributes to the discussion by challenging or commenting on the authors’ work and can present their own research results. The presented papers and an organized written form of the discussion are published in the journal Faraday Discussions (Impact Factor 4.606). The discussions may contain original ideas, valuable suggestions, and new results, which are as important as the presented papers, and thus they are formatted as articles and can be cited independently.

Nanoparticle Synthesis and Assembly Faraday Discussion was held at Argonne National Laboratory on April 20-22, 2015. This was the 3rd time that the conference took place in the United States. The topics of this Faraday Discussion were focused on nanoparticle synthetic methods, theoretical insights, self-assembly and directed assembly.

Relevant Talks and Posters

The introductory lecture was given by Dr. Paul Alivisatos (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) who received Spiers Memorial Award from the conference. Dr. Alivisatos showed a series of fascinating studies using in situ Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM).

Dr. Christophe Petit (Pierre and Marie Curie University, France) introduced his achievement in synthesis of shape-controlled Pt, PtCo, and PtPd nanoparticles, which could be used as high performance catalysts for fuel cells. They investigated reaction process by changing parameters such as elemental composition in the alloy etc.

Dr. Christina Graf (Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany) presented interesting results of their kinetic study on the aggregation and growth of PEG-protected gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) in halide solutions.

Dr. Brian Korgel (University of Texas at Austin) discussed the heating effect on the nanocrystal superlattices. They found that upon increasing temperature, the C18SH protected Au NPs switched from disordered state into ordered BCC packing structure. Interestingly, this process is reversible when cooling down.

Dr. Matthew Martin (Khalifa University, United Arab Emirates) presented his poster about synthesis, self-assembly, and dis-assembly of thiolate protected nanoparticles. The highlight of their research is that they could synthesize homogeneous particle lattice membrane as large as several inches long.

My Work

Yangwei_Liu_Poster_Faraday_Discussion2015I presented my poster entitled “Synthesis of Highly Monodisperse Alkanethiolate Protected Silver Nanoparticles by Modified Aging Process”. In recent years, a series of progress has been achieved to understand the synthetic process for noble metal nanoparticles smaller than 5 nanometers. Great emphasis has been placed on resolving the precursor states in the existed studies. However, relatively less efforts have been taken to explore the post-synthesis aging process. In this presentation, we report our recent progress on the fine control of alkanethiolate-protected silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) by using a modified method combining with digestive ripening under a range of conditions. The Ag NPs of 3.4 nm have been successfully synthesized with very high homogeneity (7%). A series of influential factors including Ag : ligand ratio, carbon chain length, and temperature have been systematically investigated. The chemical explanation has also been proposed. This study will lead to deeper understanding of the particle growth, and provide better control over the size and homogeneity of the Ag NPs for further applications.

Nanoparticle_Faraday_Discussion_David_Schiffrin_Yangwei_LiuPhoto with Dr. David Schiffrin during Faraday Discussion at Argonne National Lab

It was an honor to meet with Dr. David Schiffrin (University of Liverpool), the inventor of the widely used nanoparticle synthetic route Brust-Schiffrin Method (BSM), during the break of the meeting. I talked with him about my silver nanoparticle synthesis and my research of improving this method to better fit silver system, which is much more difficult to deal with than the original gold system. Dr. Schiffrin was kind enough to share his insight into the development and encouraged my efforts.

Award and Honor

I am so delighted to be awarded with Registration Fee Waiver as well as a Bursary from the Faraday Division of Royal Society of Chemistry.

Related Links

1. Nanoparticle Synthesis and Assembly Faraday Discussion
2. The journal Faraday Discussions, Volume 181, Aug 2015
3. My publications in this volume
Faraday Discussions, 2015, 181, 147-179.
Faraday Discussions, 2015, 181, 299-323.
Faraday Discussions, 2015, 181, 365-381.

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