Highly size-controlled, low-size-dispersity nickel nanoparticles from poly(propylene imine) dendrimer-Ni(II) complexes

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Reported here is the highly controlled synthesis and subsequent characterization of low-size-dispersity (±8-21%) crystalline Ni(0) nanoparticles derived from a dendrimer-ligand-based method employing amine-terminated poly(propylene imine) dendrimers, DAB-Amn. Crystalline Ni(0) nanoparticles devoid of any nickel boride are obtained by anaerobic borohydride reduction in methanol of DAB-Amn-Ni(II) x, as determined by high-resolution X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM), and selected-area electron diffraction (SAED) measurements. Nickel nanoparticles with highly tunable diameters ranging from l.9 to 2.7 nm are readily obtained by methanolic borohydride reduction of Ni(II) coordinated to the primary amines of five different generations of DAB-Amn (n = 4, 8, 16, 32, 64). Control over the diameter of the Ni nanoparticles is readily achievable and inversely related to dendrimer generation and the NH2:Ni(II) ratio, n/x. These outcomes bode well for future studies of relationships between metal nanoparticle properties and their behavior in the catalytic production of pollutants that have been found in combustion sources. © 2010 American Chemical Society.

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Chemistry of Materials

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