Morphology, structural properties and reducibility of size-selected CeO2-x nanoparticle films

Maria Chiara Spadaro, Sergio D'Addato, Gabriele Gasperi, Francesco Benedetti, Paola Luches, Vincenzo Grillo, Giovanni Bertoni, Sergio Valeri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Non-stoichiometric ceria nanoparticles (NPs) were obtained by a gas aggregation source with a magnetron and were mass-selected with a quadrupole mass filter. By varying magnetron power, Ar gas flow, and the length of the aggregation tube, NPs with an average diameter of 6, 9, and 14 nm were synthesized and deposited onto a substrate, thus obtaining NP films. The morphology of the films was studied with scanning electron microscopy, while high resolution transmission electron microscopy was used to gain a deeper insight into the atomic structure of individual NPs. By using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy we analyzed the degree of reduction of the NPs of different diameters, before and after thermal treatments in vacuum (reduction cycle) and in O2 atmosphere (oxidation cycle) at different temperatures. From this analysis we inferred that the size is an important parameter only at intermediate temperatures. As a comparison, we evaluated the reducibility of an ultra-thin ceria film with the same surface to volume ratio as the 9 nm diameter NPs film, observing that NPs are more reducible than the ceria film.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-67
Number of pages8
JournalBeilstein Journal of Nanotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • CeOultra-thin films
  • Ceria nanoparticles
  • Magnetron sputtering
  • Reduction and oxidation
  • Size-dependent properties
  • Size-selected nanoparticles
  • X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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