Aluminum nanocrystals are emerging as a promising alternative to silver and gold for various applications ranging from plasmonic functionalities to photocatalysis and as energetic materials. Such nanocrystals often exhibit an inherent surface oxidation layer, as aluminum is highly reactive. Its controlled removal is challenging but required, as it can hinder the properties of the encaged metal. Herein, two wet-chemical colloidal approaches toward the surface coating of Al nanocrystals, which afford control over the surface chemistry of the nanocrystals and the oxide thickness, are presented. The first approach utilizes oleic acid as a surface ligand by its addition toward the end of the Al nanocrystals synthesis, and the second approach is the post-synthesis treatment of Al nanocrystals with NOBF4, in a “wet” colloidal-based approach, which is found to etch and fluorinate the surface oxides. As surface chemistry is an important handle for controlling materials’ properties, this research paves a path for manipulating Al nanocrystals while promoting their utilization in diverse applications.
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© 2023 The Authors. Small published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.
- aluminum fluoride
- aluminum nanocrystals
- aluminum oxide
- surface treatment