We report an in situ study of epitaxial island formation and alloying of FePd nanoparticles using reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED) followed by ex situ atomic structure characterization. We used aberration corrected (AC) scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) with a high-angle annular dark field (HAADF) detector for the study of chemical ordering. The FePd nanoparticles were formed by sequential deposition of Pd and Fe onto NaCl substrates, which was then followed by heating to high temperatures to promote chemical ordering during a short period of annealing. We show that the epitaxial island growth and subsequent alloying of Fe into Pd can be clearly detected by RHEED. The high resolution and the atomic number (Z) contrast of AC HAADF-STEM allow a clear observation of nanometer-sized local chemical order in very small nanoparticles. The results revealed complex chemical structures at an intermediate stage of the ordering process with ordered regions of both L 10 and L 12 phases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)