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Optica Publishing Group
  • Applied Spectroscopy
  • Vol. 77,
  • Issue 12,
  • pp. 1401-1410
  • (2023)

A Calibration-Free Optical Emission Spectroscopic Method to Determine the Composition of a Spark Discharge Plasma Used for AuAg Binary Nanoparticle Synthesis

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Abstract

Spark discharge generators (SDGs) employ controlled gaseous environments to induce spark ablation of non-insulating electrodes, resulting in the formation of various nanostructures in the gas phase. The method offers technological advantages such as continuous particle production, scalable yield, and minimal waste. Additionally, the versatility of the process enables the generation of alloy nanoparticles from various material combinations, including immiscible ones. In order to fully exploit its potential, understanding the atomic mixing process during electrode ablation, particularly in the case of dissimilar electrodes, is crucial. Temporally and spatially resolved optical emission spectroscopy (OES) has been previously demonstrated as an effective characterization tool for spark plasmas in SDGs. However, to gain a deeper insight into the vapor mixing process, it is essential to quantitatively determine the plasma composition in both space and time. This paper introduces a calibration-free OES-based method tailored for spark plasmas utilized in binary nanoparticle generation. The method introduces the so-called multi-element combinatory Boltzmann plots, which use intensity ratios of emission atomic lines from different materials, allowing for the direct estimation of total number concentration ratios. The approach is tested using synthetic spectra and validated with experimental spark spectra obtained near an alloyed gold–silver (AuAg) electrode with a known composition. The study demonstrates the capabilities and robustness of the proposed method, with a focus on the AuAg system due to its significance in plasmonic research and frequent synthesis using spark ablation.

© 2023 The Author(s)

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Supplementary Material (1)

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Supplement 1       sj-docx-1-asp-10.1177_00037028231207358 - Supplemental material for A Calibration-Free Optical Emission Spectroscopic Method to Determine the Composition of a Spark Discharge Plasma Used for AuAg Binary Nanoparticle Synthesis

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