A promising breakthrough: Nanocrystals made of amalgam

3 min read
Researchers at ETH have managed to produce nanocrystals made of two different metals using a surprisingly intuitive amalgamation process.
Nanocrystals are nanometre-sized spheres consisting of regularly arranged atoms. Owing to their advantageous properties, they are on the rise in several technologies. Semiconductor nanocrystals, for instance, are used in new generation television screens. More recently, so-called intermetallic nanocrystals, in which two different metals combine to form a crystal lattice, have made a name for themselves as they promise improved and unique applications. Those applications range from catalysis to data storage and medicine.

In theory, there are tens of thousands of possible combinations of metals that could make up such nanocrystals, with a correspondingly large number of different material properties. So far, however, it has only been possible to make nanocrystals out of a few such pairings. A team of researchers at ETH Zurich led by Maksym Yarema and Vanessa Wood at the Institute for Electronics have now developed a new…
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