Formation of copper and nickel nanoparticles by through thin film ablation


Sheng Xu

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Materials Engineering


Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering


Advisor: P. T. Murray


A laser-based nanoparticle synthesis technique, noted through thin film ablation (TTFA), is reported here. In this process, the laser beam strikes the target from the back side and then vaporizes the target material into metal atoms, which then recombine and form nanoparticles. The nanoparticles were captured by a substrate afterwards. In this paper, copper and nickel thin film prepared on a transparent silica disc by sputtering were used as targets. Nanoparticle samples were prepared by ablation in vacuum and in the presence of an inert background gas. The plume dynamics of TTFA method were examined and the nanoparticles were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The result shows no evidence of the anomalous large size (micrometer-sized) particles that are typically seen by conventional laser deposition. The TTFA method has the potential for fabricating a wide variety of metallic nanoparticles and nanocomposites. This report provides a deeper comprehension of the TTFA technique.


Through thin film ablation, Nanoparticles Synthesis, Laser ablation, Copper, Nickel

Rights Statement

Copyright 2012, author