Thermal atomic layer deposition of gold nanoparticles: Controlled growth and size selection for photocatalysis

Fatemeh S.M. Hashemi, Fabio Grillo, Vikram R. Ravikumar, Dominik Benz, Ankit Shekhar, Matthew B.E. Griffiths, Seán T. Barry, J. Ruud Van Ommen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Gold nanoparticles have been extensively studied for their applications in catalysis. For Au nanoparticles to be catalytically active, controlling the particle size is crucial. Here we present a low temperature (105 °C) thermal atomic layer deposition approach for depositing gold nanoparticles on TiO2 with controlled size and loading using trimethylphosphino-trimethylgold(iii) and two co-reactants (ozone and water) in a fluidized bed reactor. We show that the exposure time of the precursors is a variable that can be used to decouple the Au particle size from the loading. Longer exposures of ozone narrow the particle size distribution, while longer exposures of water broaden it. By studying the photocatalytic activity of Au/TiO2 nanocomposites, we show how the ability to control particle size and loading independently can be used not only to enhance performance but also to investigate structure-property relationships. This study provides insights into the mechanism underlying the formation and evolution of Au nanoparticles prepared for the first time via vapor phase atomic layer deposition. Employing a vapor deposition technique for the synthesis of Au/TiO2 nanocomposites eliminates the shortcomings of conventional liquid-based processes opening up the possibility of highly controlled synthesis of materials at large scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9005-9013
Number of pages9
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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