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- PublicationPhase diagrams of microemulsions containing reducing agents and metal salts as bases for the synthesis of metallic nanoparticlesWe studied the phase diagrams of microemulsions with a view to using these systems for the synthesis of metallic Pt, Pb, and Bi nanoparticles as well as of intermetallic Pt/Pb and Pt/Bi nanoparticles. The microemulsions consisted of H2O/salt – n-decane – SDS – 1-butanol. The salt was either one metal precursor (H2PtCl6·6H2O, Pb(NO3)2, or Bi(NO3)3·5H2O), a mixture of two metal precursors (H2PtCl6·6H2O + Pb(NO3)2 or H2PtCl6·6H2O + Bi(NO3)3·5H2O), or the reducing agent (NaBH4). In addition, other salts needed to be added in order to solubilize the metal precursors, to stabilize the reducing agent, and to adjust the ionic strength. Combining the microemulsion (μe1) that contains the metal precursor(s) with the microemulsion (μe2) that contains the reducing agent leads to metallic nanoparticles. To study systematically how the shape and size of the synthesized metallic nanoparticles depend on the size and shape of the respective microemulsion droplets, first of all one has to find those conditions under which μe1 and μe2 have the same structure. For that purpose we determined the water emulsification failure boundary (wefb) of each microemulsion as it is at the wefb where the water droplets are known to be spherical. We found that the ionic strength (I) of the aqueous phase as well as the hard acid and hard base properties of the ions are the key tuning parameters for the location of the wefb.
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