We demonstrate operation of an aqueous electrochemical cell with an atmospheric-pressure microplasma cathode and a solid metal anode for the rapid production of colloidal metal nanoparticles. Microplasmas are miniaturized versions of low-pressure glow discharges that operate nonthermally at high pressures and contain energetic electrons. Aqueous metal cations are directly reduced by electrons in the microplasma without the presence of a solid cathode or chemical reducing agents. Kinetic studies performed by UV-visible absorbance spectroscopy suggest that particle nucleation and growth are coupled to redox reactions initiated in the electrochemical cell through plasma-liquid interactions.
© 2008 American Institute of Physics.
American Institute of Physics