Mechanistic and Synthetic Approaches to Nanoparticle Growth and Assembly

Bevilacqua, Sarah C
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Ray Schaak, Thesis Supervisor
  • Ray Funk, Honors Advisor
  • Ben Lear, Faculty Reader
  • transition metal nitrides
  • hybrid materials
  • nanoparticles
  • self-assembly
  • spatially selective nanoparticle synthesis
This study aims to understand the nitridation mechanism of Cu3PdN, which along with Cu3N, are the only transition metal nitrides that can be prepared colloidally under mild reaction conditions. Experiments were performed aiming to identify the source of nitrogen in nitride formation, as well as isolating other intermediates that might be present during the reaction. Preliminary results indicate that the use of nitrate salt and a primary amine is required for nitride formation. A spherical intermediate was also isolated; however, its identification was inconclusive. Lastly, attempt to intercalate palladium into preformed Cu3N did not lead to the formation of Cu3PdN. Further work is required to confirm the source of nitrogen and identify the reactive nitrogen species in this reaction. Hybrid materials are important for their application as optoelectronic materials, electrochemical materials, and heterogeneous catalysts. However, methods for the spatially selective synthesis of these higher order nanoparticle assembly remains limited. A novel strategy to assemble nanoparticles is being developed using nanoparticles with spatially separated ligands. Functionalization of the ligands with furan or maleimide allows for particle coupling via the Diels Alder reaction. This report focuses on the synthesis of ligands for the coupling reaction, which will be tested in the coupling of gold nanosphere and nanorod. The process will allow for the assembly of new metal pairs that would not combine based on previously developed methods.