Probing the Origin of Gold Dissolution and Tunneling across Ni2P Shell Using in situ Transmission Electron Microscopy

Shaobo Han, Tianwu Chen, Chao Cai, Dongsheng He, Sean Li, Xia Xiang, Xiaotao Zu, Sulin Zhang, Meng Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Hybrid core-shell catalysts possess superior physiochemical properties that are closely related to their atomic structures. Here, we report novel diffusion phenomena in an Au-Ni2P yolk-shell structure using in situ heating transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis. The Au yolks can dissolve completely into and diffuse across the Ni2P shell at 500 °C, resulting in an inward volume expansion of the Ni2P shell and shrinkage of the void. The dissolved Au is subsequently segregated, forming a new crystal on the outer layer of the shell. A detailed atomic-scale resolution imaging revealed that the outward Au diffusion and aggregation occur when the Au yolks are epitaxial to the Ni2P shells. Theoretical analysis shows that the outward diffusion and deposition of Au atoms is primarily driven by the excess epitaxial strain energy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46947-46952
Number of pages6
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number50
StatePublished - Dec 18 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)

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