Journal of Nanoparticle Research

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 247–259

Generation of mixed metallic nanoparticles from immiscible metals by spark discharge


  • N. S. Tabrizi
    • Nanostructured Materials, Faculty of Applied SciencesDelft University of Technology
  • Q. Xu
    • Laboratory for Material Science, National Centre for HREMDelft University of Technology
  • N. M. van der Pers
    • Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Faculty of 3mEDelft University of Technology
    • Nanostructured Materials, Faculty of Applied SciencesDelft University of Technology
Research Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11051-009-9603-4

Cite this article as:
Tabrizi, N.S., Xu, Q., van der Pers, N.M. et al. J Nanopart Res (2010) 12: 247. doi:10.1007/s11051-009-9603-4


Using a spark discharge system, we synthesized Ag-Cu, Pt–Au and Cu-W mixed particles a few nanometers in size. These combinations have miscibility gaps in the bulk form. The microsecond sparks between electrodes consisting of the respective materials, form a vapour cloud. Very fast quenching of the mixed vapour results in the formation of nanoparticles. To investigate the morphology, size, composition and structure of the particles, TEM, XRD analyses and EDS elemental mapping were performed on the samples. The average compositions were measured by ICP and the specific surface areas were determined by the BET. Our method produces Ag-Cu and Au–Pt mixed crystalline phases that do not exist in macroscopic samples. For Cu-W, alloying is not observed, and the metals are mixed on a scale of about 1 nm.


NanoparticlesImmiscible metalsSpark dischargeSynthesis method

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009