Ag Nanocluster Production through DC Magnetron Sputtering and Inert Gas Condensation: A Study of Structural, Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy, and Optical Properties

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Abstract

Silver nanoclusters are valuable for a variety of applications. A combination of direct current (DC) magnetron sputtering and inert gas condensation methods, employed within an ultra-high vacuum (UHV) system, was used to generate Ag nanoclusters with an average size of 4 nm. Various analytical techniques, including Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM), X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy (KPFM), UV-visible absorption, and Photoluminescence, were employed to characterize the produced Ag nanoclusters. AFM topographic imaging revealed spherical nanoparticles with sizes ranging from 3 to 6 nm, corroborating data from a quadrupole mass filter (QMF). The XRD analysis verified the simple cubic structure of the Ag nanoclusters. The surface potential was assessed using KPFM, from which the work function was calculated with a reference highly ordered pyrolytic graphite (HOPG). The UV-visible absorption spectra displayed peaks within the 350–750 nm wavelength range, with a strong absorption feature at 475 nm. Additionally, lower excitation wavelengths resulted in a sharp peak emission at 370 nm, which became weaker and broader when higher excitation wavelengths were used.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2758
JournalNanomaterials
Volume13
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Keywords

  • DC magnetron sputtering
  • Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy (KPFM)
  • UV-visible absorption
  • photoluminescence
  • silver nanoclusters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science

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