Dynamic nucleation and growth of Ni nanoparticles on high-surface area titania

P. Li, Jingyue Liu, N. Nag, Peter Crozier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Nucleation and growth mechanisms of Ni nanoparticles synthesized via an incipient wetness technique on a high-surface area titania support (i.e., a mixture of anatase and rutile) are studied using environmental transmission electron microscope (ETEM). Most Ni nanoparticles are found to nucleate from the Ni precursor coated on the surface of the titania support. Even though both anatase and rutile supports are the nucleation sites for Ni nanoparticles, it was observed that the particles have different morphologies on the supports, i.e., a non-wetting morphology on the anatase support versus a wetting morphology on the rutile {1 0 1}. This is because the interfacial energy of Ni/rutile is lower than that of Ni/anatase. Titania clusters are found to nucleate on the surface of the Ni particles during in situ ETEM reduction, indicating that the presence of partial titania overlayers is directly related to the synthesis of the Ni/TiO2 catalysts. The growth mode of the Ni nanoparticles on the titania support is three-dimensional, while that of the rutile cluster on the surface of the Ni is two-dimensional layer-by-layer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)693-702
Number of pages10
JournalSurface Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2006


  • Anatase
  • Catalysts
  • Environmental TEM
  • Growth
  • Morphology
  • Nanoparticles
  • Ni
  • Nucleation
  • Reduction
  • Rutile
  • Synthesis
  • Titanium oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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