Synthesis, study and applications of NanoParticles (NPs) have been playing a major role in material science and technology over the last 20 years, although some important examples of NP presence in manufactured goods can be dated back to ancient history . Realization of NPs with chemical methods is nowadays mainstream, because of the cost effectiveness and scalability. Nevertheless, physical synthesis with a bottom-up approach presents some advantages, especially when a “fine tuning” of the NP properties is required. Physical synthesis can be single-step and ligand-free, and these characteristics can result in a more accurate analysis of the NP structure and of their electronic and magnetic behavior. During the last years we developed a laboratory for the NP synthesis with a magnetron based gas aggregation source (GAS) and a quadrupole mass filter. The versatility of the NP source allowed us to prepare and study different types of NPs. Moreover, co-deposition and sequential layer deposition methods have been used to obtain core@shell NPs. These methods gave us the possibility of realizing non-native oxide shells , and to investigate metal@metal oxide core@shell NPs by varying independently the core diameter and the shell thickness. Two case studies will be reported:
· An investigation of structure and magnetic properties of Ni@NiO and Ni@CoO NP films, as model systems for exploiting the exchange bias effect to “beat the superparamagnetic limit” [3,4].
· An experimental and study of structure and plasmonic properties of Ag, Ag@MgO and Ag@CaF2 NP films, of potential interest in photovoltaic [5,6].
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