The phase stability and surface effects on binary transition metal nano-alloy systems were investigated using density functional theory-based first principles calculations. In this study, we evaluated the cohesive and alloying energies of six binary metal alloy bulk systems that sample each type of alloys according to miscibility, i.e., Au-Ag and Pd-Ag for the solid solution-type alloys (SS), Pd-Ir and Pd-Rh for the high-temperature solid solution-type alloys (HTSS), and Au-Ir and Ag-Rh for the phase-separation (PS)-type alloys. Our results and analysis show consistency with experimental observations on the type of materials in the bulk phase. Varying the lattice parameter was also shown to have an effect on the stability of the bulk mixed alloy system. It was observed, particularly for the PS- and HTSS-type materials, that mixing gains energy from the increasing lattice constant. We furthermore evaluated the surface effects, which is an important factor to consider for nanoparticle-sized alloys, through analysis of the (001) and (111) surface facets. We found that the stability of the surface depends on the optimization of atomic positions and segregation of atoms near/at the surface, particularly for the HTSS and the PS types of metal alloys. Furthermore, the increase in energy for mixing atoms at the interface of the atomic boundaries of PS- and HTSS-type materials is low enough to overcome by the gain in energy through entropy. These, therefore, are the main proponents for the possibility of mixing alloys near the surface.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Materials Chemistry