Nanomachines & Nanomanipulation Synthesis of nanoparticles/clusters and electron microscopy characterization

In spite of the large number of synthesis methods (for nanoparticles and clusters) that have been developed during the last 10-15 years, the mechanisms involved in formation and growth of these particles are still in continuous debate. Understanding these mechanisms is the key to design methods to obtain particles with desired shape and size and, therefore, with desired physical and chemical properties.

This project, funded by Regional Government of Galicia (Xunta de Galicia - Plan I2C), and carried out between INL and University of Santiago de Compostela is based on two main topics:

-Synthesis of nanoparticles/clusters with optical, magnetic or catalytic properties.

-Structural characterization of nanoparticles/clusters by electron microscopy techniques.

In order to accomplish this project, a detailed structural characterization is fundamental. Structural characterization of clusters and nanoparticles, by different electron microscopy techniques (SEM, TEM, electron diffraction, EDX, EELS…) is a key step in order to understand processes and mechanisms involved in synthesis of these particles and also to understand their physical and chemical properties.

Although this project could be considered as fundamental research, the results in this field are essential in order to carry out a rational design of nanoparticles/nanostructures with customized physical and chemical properties that can be used in practical applications.