NREL Scientists Reveal Origin of Diverse Melting Behaviors of Aluminum Nanoclusters (Fact Sheet)

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Research reveals active role of cluster symmetries on the size-sensitive, diverse melting behaviors of metallic nanoclusters, providing insight to understanding phase changes of nanoparticles for thermal energy storage. Unlike macroscopic bulk materials, intermediate-sized nanoclusters with around 55 atoms inherently exhibit size-sensitive melting changes: adding just a single atom to a nanocluster can cause a dramatic change in melting behavior. Microscopic understanding of thermal behaviors of metal nanoclusters is important for nanoscale catalysis and thermal energy storage applications. However, it is a challenge to obtain a structural interpretation at the atomic level from measured thermodynamic quantities such as heat capacity. Using ... continued below

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Creator: Unknown. October 1, 2011.

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Research reveals active role of cluster symmetries on the size-sensitive, diverse melting behaviors of metallic nanoclusters, providing insight to understanding phase changes of nanoparticles for thermal energy storage. Unlike macroscopic bulk materials, intermediate-sized nanoclusters with around 55 atoms inherently exhibit size-sensitive melting changes: adding just a single atom to a nanocluster can cause a dramatic change in melting behavior. Microscopic understanding of thermal behaviors of metal nanoclusters is important for nanoscale catalysis and thermal energy storage applications. However, it is a challenge to obtain a structural interpretation at the atomic level from measured thermodynamic quantities such as heat capacity. Using ab initio molecular dynamics simulations, scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) revealed a clear correlation between the diverse melting behaviors of aluminum nanoclusters and cluster core symmetries. These simulations reproduced, for the first time, the size-sensitive heat capacities of aluminum nanoclusters, which exhibit several distinctive shapes associated with the diverse melting behaviors of the clusters. The size-dependent, diverse melting behaviors of the aluminum clusters are attributed to the reduced symmetry (from Td {yields} D2d {yields} Cs) with increasing the cluster sizes and can be used to help design thermal storage materials.

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1 pg.

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  • Related Information: NREL Highlights, Science, NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

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  • Report No.: NREL/FS-5900-52011
  • Grant Number: AC36-08GO28308
  • DOI: 10.2172/1027689 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1027689
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc834762

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  • October 1, 2011

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 15, 2016, 2:14 p.m.

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NREL Scientists Reveal Origin of Diverse Melting Behaviors of Aluminum Nanoclusters (Fact Sheet), report, October 1, 2011; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc834762/: accessed April 27, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.