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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2013, Article ID 193725, 9 pages
Research Article

Investigating the Formation Process of Sn-Based Lead-Free Nanoparticles with a Chemical Reduction Method

1Laboratory for Microstructures, Shanghai University, 99 Shangda Road, Shanghai 200436, China
2School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shanghai University, 149 Yanchang Road, Shanghai 200072, China
3Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-4390, USA

Received 22 October 2012; Revised 15 January 2013; Accepted 29 January 2013

Academic Editor: Xuedong Bai

Copyright © 2013 Weipeng Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nanoparticles of a promising lead-free solder alloy (Sn3.5Ag (wt.%, SnAg) and Sn3.0Ag0.5Cu (wt.%, SAC)) were synthesized through a chemical reduction method by using anhydrous ethanol and 1,10-phenanthroline as the solvent and surfactant, respectively. To illustrate the formation process of Sn-Ag alloy based nanoparticles during the reaction, X-ray diffraction (XRD) was used to investigate the phases of the samples in relation to the reaction time. Different nucleation and growth mechanisms were compared on the formation process of the synthesized nanoparticles. The XRD results revealed different reaction process compared with other researchers. There were many contributing factors to the difference in the examples found in the literature, with the main focus on the formation mechanism of crystal nuclei, the solubility and ionizability of metal salts in the solvent, the solid solubility of Cu in Ag nuclei, and the role of surfactant on the growth process. This study will help define the parameters necessary for the control of both the composition and size of the nanoparticles.