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2009/7/14
Metal Nanoparticles for Catalysts for Fuel Cell and Nanocarbon Materials, and Sensor Application

Metal nanopartilces attract many interest for application in catalysts for fuel cell and nanocarbon materials and also for optical and gas sensors. When applying the metal nanoparticles to catalysts or sensors, a large surface area and a sharp particles size distribution is very important.
At NARA, metal nanoparticles can be prepared by laser ablation technology. Laser ablation is a technology where you strike the target material with a pulsed laser in a vacuum chamber, to prepare nanopartilces or thin films of the target material. The particle size of the metal nanoparticles can be controlled by the pressure in the vacuum chamber.
Example of Ag nanoparticles are shown with TEM picture and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) absorption, an unique optical characteristic of precious metal nanoparticles. Uniform, Ag nanoparticles with average particle size of 5nm were prepared.
Additional to the nanoparticles deposition in a vacuum chamber, ablation in a liquid phase is also possible, to prepare uniform and well-dispersed suspensions with the nanoparticles.
We also have experience with metals e.g., Cu, Au, Pt, Pd, V, Al, Co, Si, W, Ni, Ti, Fe. This technology is also attractive for metal alloy materials since the composition of the target material and the deposited nanoparticles are maintained.