The chemical and physical properties of nanoparticle surfaces have significant effects on their growth processes and the resulting morphology. Hydrothermally grown KNbO3, KTaO3, and KTa1-xNbxO3 were studied to examine the complex relationships between surface composition, phase, chemistry, and energetics and how these may be used to model and thereby control nanoparticle growth mechanisms. Two different composition-dependent growth modes were identified, where one type formed smooth surface facets, while the other resulted in roughened nanoparticle morphologies. Electron microscopy characterization, density functional theory calculations, and mathematical growth models were used to illuminate the role of surface properties and chemisorption on the nanoparticle growth morphology. Surface energy reduction by chemisorption can increase the rate of terrace nucleation, driving the roughening of these lower energy nanoparticle surfaces.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films