Electron beam nanosculpting of kirkendall oxide nanochannels

Abdel Aziz El Mel, Leopoldo Molina-Luna, Marie Buffière, Pierre Yves Tessier, Ke Du, Chang Hwan Choi, Hans Joachim Kleebe, Stephanos Konstantinidis, Carla Bittencourt, Rony Snyders

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27 Citations (Scopus)


The nanomanipulation of metal nanoparticles inside oxide nanotubes, synthesized by means of the Kirkendall effect, is demonstrated. In this strategy, a focused electron beam, extracted from a transmission electron microscope source, is used to site-selectively heat the oxide material in order to generate and steer a metal ion diffusion flux inside the nanochannels. The metal ion flux generated inside the tube is a consequence of the reduction of the oxide phase occurring upon exposure to the e-beam. We further show that the directional migration of the metal ions inside the nanotubes can be achieved by locally tuning the chemistry and the morphology of the channel at the nanoscale. This allows sculpting organized metal nanoparticles inside the nanotubes with various sizes, shapes, and periodicities. This nanomanipulation technique is very promising since it enables creating unique nanostructures that, at present, cannot be produced by an alternative classical synthesis route.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1854-1861
Number of pages8
JournalACS Nano
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2014



  • Kirkendall effect
  • electron beam
  • nanomanipulation
  • oxide nanotubes
  • transmission electron microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

El Mel, A. A., Molina-Luna, L., Buffière, M., Tessier, P. Y., Du, K., Choi, C. H., Kleebe, H. J., Konstantinidis, S., Bittencourt, C., & Snyders, R. (2014). Electron beam nanosculpting of kirkendall oxide nanochannels. ACS Nano, 8(2), 1854-1861. https://doi.org/10.1021/nn406328f