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Melting-solidification transition of Zn nanoparticles embedded in SiO2: Observation by synchrotron x-ray and ultraviolet-visible-near-infrared light

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8 Author(s)
Amekura, H. ; Ion Beam Group, National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), 3-13 Sakura, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0003, Japan ; Tanaka, M. ; Katsuya, Y. ; Yoshikawa, H.
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Melting-solidification transition of Zn nanoparticles (NPs) with the mean diameter of 11.5 nm, embedded in silica glass, was investigated by glancing incident x-ray diffraction (GIXRD) at high temperatures using synchrotron radiation (SR). With increasing temperature, 101Zn diffraction peak gradually decreases up to ∼360 °C and then steeply decreases. This is due to the melting of Zn NPs, which completes around 420 °C. With decreasing temperature, the solidification of the NPs begins around ∼310 °C. The temperature hysteresis with a width of ∼110 °C was observed. With temperature, the diffraction angle shows a shift without hysteresis, which is ascribed to thermal expansion of Zn NP lattice. Thermal expansion coefficient of Zn NPs was determined as 24.4×10-6 K-1 along the <101> direction. Optical absorption spectroscopy shows a broad ultraviolet (UV) peak which was observed at even higher temperatures than the melting temperature but shifts to the low-energy side with the melting. The energy shift in the UV peak also shows the temperature hysteresis which resembles with the melting-solidification hysteresis recorded by SR-GIXRD. The melting-solidification transition is also detectable by the optical absorption spectroscopy in the UV-visible-near-infrared region.

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Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:108 ,  Issue: 10 )