Nanometer-sized diamond particles are used in bio-medical applications, where the nature of the nanodiamond surfaces is crucial to achieving correct functionalisation. Herein, using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and electronic structure calculations, we study the surface reconstructions that occur in detonation-synthesized nanodiamonds. Our results show that particles smaller than 3 nm exhibit size- and shape-dependent surface reconstructions, and that the surfaces can exhibit a higher-than-expected fraction of sp2+x bonding. This indicates an aliphatic character for sub-3 nm nanodiamond particles. Such behaviour impacts the functionality of nanodiamonds, where both size and surface charge can drive performance. Our observations offer a potential strategy for better functionalization control via the size range of the particles.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)