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Nano Research

Article Title

Helium droplet assisted synthesis of plasmonic Ag@ZnO core@shell nanoparticles

Keywords

nanoparticle, helium droplet, plasmonics, photoelectrons

Abstract

Plasmonic Ag@ZnO core@shell nanoparticles are formed by synthesis inside helium droplets with subsequent deposition and controlled oxidation. The particle size and shape can be controlled from spherical sub-10 nm particles to larger elongated structures. An advantage of the method is the complete absence of solvents, precursors, and other chemical agents. The obtained particle morphology and elemental composition have been analyzed by scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). The results reveal that the produced particles form a closed and homogeneous ZnO layer around a 2–3 nm Ag core with a uniform thickness of (1.33 ± 0.15) nm and (1.63 ± 0.31) nm for spherical and wire-like particles, respectively. The results are supported by ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS), which indicates a fully oxidized shell layer for the particles studied by STEM. The plasmonic properties of the produced spherical Ag@ZnO core@shell particles are investigated by two-photon photoelectron (2PPE) spectroscopy. Upon excitation of the localized surface plasmon resonance in Ag at around 3 eV, plasmonic enhancement leads to the liberation of electrons with high kinetic energy. This is observed for both Ag and Ag@ZnO particles, showing that even if a Ag cluster is covered by the ZnO layer, a plasmonic enhancement can be observed by photoelectron spectroscopy.

Graphical Abstract

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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