Research Paper

Journal of Nanoparticle Research

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 247-259

First online:

Generation of mixed metallic nanoparticles from immiscible metals by spark discharge

  • N. S. TabriziAffiliated withNanostructured Materials, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Delft University of Technology
  • , Q. XuAffiliated withLaboratory for Material Science, National Centre for HREM, Delft University of Technology
  • , N. M. van der PersAffiliated withDepartment of Materials Science and Engineering, Faculty of 3mE, Delft University of Technology
  • , A. Schmidt-OttAffiliated withNanostructured Materials, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Delft University of Technology Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


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.


Nanoparticles Immiscible metals Spark discharge Synthesis method