For about fifteen years when the terminology « Nanoalloys » entered the vocabulary of physical chemists, alloy nanoparticles represent well-identified systems within nanosciences and nanotechnologies. Indeed, by virtue of their original properties and their growing impact in industry and biomedicine, these systems represent a considerable stake in fundamental research as well as in future or already implemented applications.
A field very well identified industrially is that of applications at the level of heterogeneous catalysis processes, whether in the petrochemical sectors, or in exhaust gas pollution control, without forgetting the rapidly expanding field of fuel cells, which represents an energy solution that respects the environment. For all these applications, we seek to replace the noble metals with transition metals while ensuring better properties and optimizing the life of the materials. Other applications use the magnetic properties of these nano-objects to increase the storage capacities of ultra-high density digital data or for the development of innovative therapies based on hyperthermia. Finally, optical properties with localized surface plasmon resonance find many applications in sensors, the labeling or detection of biomolecules, or even the amplification of absorption in solar cells.
The alloy nanoparticles concentrate two advantages which are their small size leading to characteristic properties in catalysis, optics or magnetism and the fact of combining two chemical elements which makes it possible to modulate these same properties. At the same time, the variety and complexity of structures linked not only to atomic structure and morphology but also to the chemical order within them necessitates leading theoretical and experimental developments in order to manage their synthesis, to characterize their structure, study their properties and control their aging under the conditions of their applications.
After a first edition organized in Fréjus – France, villa Clythia CAES of the CNRS, in 2010:
We wish to consolidate the knowledge bases of these complex systems and explore new avenues such as studies of fatigue, durability and aging of these nanomaterials, as well as their interaction with their environment, so as to approach standard conditions of use at the industrial or therapeutic level.
Nanoalloys, Synthesis, Structure and Properties. Springer 2012