Xing Yee Gan, a PhD candidate at the University of Pittsburgh, synthesized these nanoheterostructures, which resemble tiny pineapples. The structures are made up of two materials: copper selenide (Cu2Se) forms the body of the fruit, and metallic platinum domains make up the leaves. Gan used a scanning transmission electron microscope to generate this image, which is color-coded with an X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy elemental map that shows the distribution of copper, selenium, and platinum atoms (key, top left). To make the structures, Gan synthesized the Cu2Se nanoparticles; she then mixed aqueous solutions of a Pt2+ salt and a reducing agent to produce the metallic Pt domains. Finally, she deposited the Pt domains on the Cu2Se nanoparticles in a dendritic form to resemble leaves. Gan aims to design dual-function nanoparticles that could find use in applications such as light-driven catalysis.
Submitted by Xing Yee Gan (@xingyeeg)
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