College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Nanoparticles: To be or not to be crystalline?

Duane Johnson, an Iowa State University F. Wendell Miller Professor of Energy Sciences, and a team of researchers discovered that there is no one size where particles go from non-crystalline (disordered) to crystalline (ordered) phases.

Instead, they found a range of sizes where both phases coexist statistically, depending on the support and gas surrounding the particles.

By controlling size and shape, the properties of metal nanoparticles can be tuned to catalyze chemical reactions faster and/or potentially cheaper for a wide range of fields including those related to energy production as well as biomedical, chemical, electronic, and optical technologies.

Johnson is a professor of materials science and engineering and has a courtesy appointment with the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Department of Physics.

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