Here it is demonstrated that the di!usion process of oxygen in Co nanoparticles is controlled by their 2D ordering and crystallinity. The crystallinity of isolated Co nanoparticles deposited on a substrate does not play any role in the oxide formation. When they are self-assembled in 2D superlattices, the oxidation process is slowed and produces either core/shell (Co/CoO) nanoparticles or hollow CoO nanocrystals. This is attributed to the decrease in the oxygen di!usion rate when the nanoparticles are interdigitated. Initially, polycrystalline nanoparticles form core/shell (Co/CoO) structures, while for single-domain hexagonal close-packed Co nanocrystals, the outward di!usion of Co ions is favored over the inward di!usion of oxygen, producing hollow CoO single-domain nanocrystals.
Source : Nanocrystallinity and the Ordering of Nanoparticles in 2D Superlattices: Controlled Formation of either Core/Shell (Co/CoO) or Hollow CoO Nanocrystals.
Z.Yang, I.Lisiecki, M. Walls, M.P. Pileni ACS Nano. , 2013, 7, 1342–1350.