Experimental methods for determining the melting temperature and the heat of melting of clusters and nanoparticles
Institute of Spectroscopy, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Fizicheskaya 5, Troitsk, Moscow, 108840, Russian Federation
Unlike macroscopic objects, clusters and nanoparticles lack a definite melting temperature at a given pressure but rather have their solid and liquid phases coexistent in a certain temperature range and their melting temperature dependent on the particle size. As the particle size decreases, the melting temperature becomes fundamentally difficult to define. This review examines methods for measuring the melting temperature and the heat of melting of clusters and nanoparticles. The temperature (internal energy) of the particles is defined and how it affects the properties of and processes involving the particles is discussed. The melting features of clusters and nanoparticles versus bulk materials are examined. Early methods of determining the melting temperature of large clusters are described. New precision methods of measuring the melting temperature and the heat of melting of clusters are discussed, which use clusters themselves as “high-sensitivity calorimeters” to measure energy. Laser-based nanoparticle melting techniques are outlined.