In situ observation of nanoparticle exsolution from perovskite oxides: from atomic scale mechanistic insight to nanostructure tailoring

Dragos Neagu, Vasileios Kyriakou, Ioan Lucian Roiban, Mimoun Aouine, Chenyang Tang, Angel Caravaca, Kalliopi Kousi, Ingeborg Schreur-Piet, Ian S. Metcalfe, Philippe Vernoux, Mauritius C.M. Van De Sanden, Mihalis N. Tsampas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding and controlling the formation of nanoparticles at the surface of functional oxide supports is critical for tuning activity and stability for catalytic and energy conversion applications. Here, we use a latest generation environmental transmission electron microscope to follow the exsolution of individual nanoparticles at the surface of perovskite oxides, with ultrahigh spatial and temporal resolution. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of the data reveals the atomic scale processes that underpin the formation of the socketed, strain-inducing interface that confers exsolved particles their exceptional stability and reactivity. This insight also enabled us to discover that the shape of exsolved particles can be controlled by changing the atmosphere in which exsolution is carried out, and additionally, this could also produce intriguing heterostructures consisting of metal-metal oxide coupled nanoparticles. Our results not only provide insight into the in situ formation of nanoparticles but also demonstrate the tailoring of nanostructures and nanointerfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12996-13005
Number of pages10
JournalACS Nano
Issue number11
Early online date21 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2019



  • environmental transmission electron microscopy
  • in situ exsolution
  • nanoparticles
  • nanostructuring
  • perovskites

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