Photothermal behaviour of titanium nitride nanoparticles evaluated by transient X-ray diffraction

Benjamin T. Diroll, Alexandra Brumberg, Ariel A. Leonard, Shobhana Panuganti, Nicolas E. Watkins, Shelby A. Cuthriell, Samantha M. Harvey, Eli D. Kinigstein, Jin Yu, Xiaoyi Zhang, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis, Michael R. Wasielewski, Lin X. Chen, Richard D. Schaller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The photothermal properties of metal nitrides have recently received significant attention owing to diverse applications in solar energy conversion, photothermal therapies, photoreactions, and thermochromic windows. Here, the photothermal response of titanium nitride nanoparticles is examined using transient X-ray diffraction, in which optical excitation is synchronized with X-ray pulses to characterize dynamic changes in the TiN lattice. Photoinduced diffraction data is quantitatively analyzed to determine increases in the TiN lattice spacing, which are furthermore calibrated against static, temperature-dependent diffraction patterns of the same samples. Measurements of 20 nm and 50 nm diameter TiN nanoparticles reveal transient lattice heating from room temperature up to ∼175 °C for the highest pump fluences investigated here. Increasing excitation intensity drives sublinear increases in lattice temperature, due to increased heat capacity at the higher effective temperatures achieved at higher powers. Temporal dynamics show that higher excitation intensity drives not only higher lattice temperatures, but also unexpectedly slower cooling of the TiN nanoparticles, which is attributed to heating of the solvent proximal to the nanoparticle surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2658-2664
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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