Thermodynamics of CuPt nanoalloys

K. Rossi, L. B. Pártay, Gábor Csányi, F. Baletto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The control of structural and chemical transitions in bimetallic nanoalloys at finite temperatures is one of the challenges for their use in advanced applications. Comparing Nested Sampling and Molecular Dynamics simulations, we investigate the phase changes of CuPt nanoalloys with the aim to elucidate the role of kinetic effects during their solidification and melting processes. We find that the quasi-thermodynamic limit for the nucleation of (CuPt)309 is 965 ± 10K, but its prediction is increasingly underestimated when the system is cooled faster than 109 K/s. The solidified nanoparticles, classified following a novel tool based on Steinhardt parameters and the relative orientation of characteristic atomic environments, are then heated back to their liquid phase. We demonstrate the kinetic origin of the hysteresis in the caloric curve as (i) it closes for rates slower than 108 K/s, with a phase change temperature of 970K ± 25K, in very good agreement with its quasi-thermodynamic limit; (ii) the process happens simultaneously in the inner and outer layers; (iii) an onion-shell chemical order - Cu-rich surface, Pt-rich sub-surface, and mixed core - is always preserved.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9150
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Early online date14 Jun 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Jun 2018


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