Special Issue "Inorganic Fullerene-like Nanoparticles and Inorganic Nanotubes"

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A special issue of Inorganics (ISSN 2304-6740).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Reshef Tenne (Website)

Department of Materials and Interfaces, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot 76100, Israel
Phone: +972-8-9342394
Interests: nanoparticles synthesis; solid state chemistry; characterization of nanoparticles
Guest Editor
Dr. Andrey N. Enyashin (Website)

Institute of Solid State Chemistry UB RAS, Pervomayskaya Str. 91, 620990 Ekaterinburg, Russia
Interests: computational materials science; inorganic fullerenes and nanotubes; carbon nanostructures

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Inorganic fullerene-like nanoparticles and inorganic nanotubes represent a relatively new type of condensed matter. They are constructed from non-carbon layers that are folded into tubular, polyhedral or quasi-spherical shells. This combination of low dimensionality and nano-size can enhance the layered compounds’ performance in their already known applications, as well as in new fields of use. The production of inorganic hollow nanoparticles initially arose in the 1990’s from a fortuitous lab discovery of a great number of fullerenic and nanotubular chalco- and halogenides. Commercial production of said particles now focuses on molybdenum and tungsten disulfides; tons per year are currently synthesized. MoS2 and WS2 are well established dry lubricants. The tribological characteristics and stability of these lubricants can be considerably enhanced by taking advantage of fullerene-like morphologies. Moreover, nanotubes and fullerene-like MoS2 and WS2 can be functionalized so as to transfer their excellent properties to oil-based lubricants and wear-resistant surface coatings, thus pushing ahead the large-scale use of layered sulfides in the machinery, aerospace, and medical industries. Apart from tribological qualities, the significant stability of sulfide fullerene-like nanoparticles and nanotubes under shock-wave propagation suggests their potential as fillers for impact resilient polymer or ceramic composites.

Substantial progress in the warrantable production and pioneering use of this kind of inorganic nanomaterials was possible due to comprehensive basic research on their formation mechanism, chemical reactivities, and mechanical and electronic characteristics. However, current experimental work has rapidly advanced in the direction of targeted functionalization of the nanoparticles using doping, intercalation, surface modification by molecules, endohedral sealing. Furthermore, various polymer nanocomposites containing minute amounts of these nanoparticles were shown to exhibit enhanced mechanical properties (reinforcement).The optical and electronic transport properties have been recently studied in some cases. Although the primary emphasis has been placed on molybdenum and tungsten disulfide species, the mass fabrication of BN nanotubes and the potential strategies for extended production of various other fullerene-like nanoparticles (BN, ReS2, LnF3 etc.) has also been demonstrated. Novel and modified nanoparticles can provide for a much larger diversity of new nanomaterials in catalysis, electronics and electrochemistry; however, the detailed characterization of such particles is required. Despite some success in the description of polyhedral fullerenes’ construction principles, understanding the morphology of fullerene-like nanoparticles at the atomistic level is still a challenge from both theoretical and experimental perspectives. The exact formation mechanisms, the interface phenomena, along with the details of mechanical destruction of the inorganic hollow nanoparticles under load, are still poorly described or remain unknown in most of the cases.

Therefore, this special issue welcomes comprehensive reviews and research articles to collect the widest information available to date in the field of inorganic fullerene-like nanoparticles and nanotubes.

Prof. Dr. Reshef Tenne
Dr. Andrey N. Enyashin
Guest Editors

Submission

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Published Papers (13 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Inorganic Fullerene-Like Nanoparticles and Inorganic Nanotubes
Inorganics 2014, 2(4), 649-651; doi:10.3390/inorganics2040649
Received: 11 November 2014 / Accepted: 25 November 2014 / Published: 28 November 2014
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Abstract
Fullerene-like nanoparticles (inorganic fullerenes; IF) and nanotubes of inorganic layered compounds (inorganic nanotubes; INT) combine low dimensionality and nanosize, enhancing the performance of corresponding bulk counterparts in their already known applications, as well as opening new fields of their own [1]. This [...] Read more.
Fullerene-like nanoparticles (inorganic fullerenes; IF) and nanotubes of inorganic layered compounds (inorganic nanotubes; INT) combine low dimensionality and nanosize, enhancing the performance of corresponding bulk counterparts in their already known applications, as well as opening new fields of their own [1]. This issue gathers articles from the diverse area of materials science and is devoted to fullerene-like nanoparticles and nanotubes of layered sulfides and boron nitride and collects the most current results obtained at the interface between fundamental research and engineering.[...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle Noble-Metal Chalcogenide Nanotubes
Inorganics 2014, 2(4), 556-564; doi:10.3390/inorganics2040556
Received: 9 May 2014 / Revised: 15 September 2014 / Accepted: 8 October 2014 / Published: 24 October 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (554 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We explore the stability and the electronic properties of hypothetical noble-metal chalcogenide nanotubes PtS2, PtSe2, PdS2 and PdSe2 by means of density functional theory calculations. Our findings show that the strain energy decreases inverse quadratically with [...] Read more.
We explore the stability and the electronic properties of hypothetical noble-metal chalcogenide nanotubes PtS2, PtSe2, PdS2 and PdSe2 by means of density functional theory calculations. Our findings show that the strain energy decreases inverse quadratically with the tube diameter, as is typical for other nanotubes. Moreover, the strain energy is independent of the tube chirality and converges towards the same value for large diameters. The band-structure calculations show that all noble-metal chalcogenide nanotubes are indirect band gap semiconductors. The corresponding band gaps increase with the nanotube diameter rapidly approaching the respective pristine 2D monolayer limit. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Design of Experiments: Optimizing the Polycarboxylation/Functionalization of Tungsten Disulfide Nanotubes
Inorganics 2014, 2(3), 455-467; doi:10.3390/inorganics2030455
Received: 12 May 2014 / Revised: 16 July 2014 / Accepted: 17 July 2014 / Published: 11 August 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (5406 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Design of experiments (DOE) methodology was used to identify and optimize factors that influence the degree of functionalization (polycarboxylation) of WS2 INTs via a modified acidic Vilsmeier–Haack reagent. The six factors investigated were reaction time, temperature and the concentrations of 2-bromoacetic [...] Read more.
Design of experiments (DOE) methodology was used to identify and optimize factors that influence the degree of functionalization (polycarboxylation) of WS2 INTs via a modified acidic Vilsmeier–Haack reagent. The six factors investigated were reaction time, temperature and the concentrations of 2-bromoacetic acid, WS2 INTs, silver acetate and DMF. The significance of each factor and the associated interactive effects were evaluated using a two-level factorial statistical design in conjunction with statistical software (MiniTab® 16) based on quadratic programming. Although statistical analysis indicated that no factors were statistically significant, time, temperature and concentration of silver acetate were found to be the most important contributors to obtaining maximum functionalization/carboxylation. By examining contour plots and interaction plots, it was determined that optimal functionalization is obtained in a temperature range of 115–120 °C with a reaction time of 54 h using a mixture of 6 mL DMF, 200 mg INTs, 800 mg 2-bromoacetic acid and 60 mg silver acetate. Full article
Open AccessArticle Microstructural Study of IF-WS2 Failure Modes
Inorganics 2014, 2(3), 377-395; doi:10.3390/inorganics2030377
Received: 27 March 2014 / Revised: 3 June 2014 / Accepted: 4 June 2014 / Published: 4 July 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (6301 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This manuscript summarizes the failure mechanisms found in inorganic fullerene-type tungsten disulfide (IF-WS2) nanoparticles treated with diverse pressure loading methods. The approaches utilized to induce failure included: the use of an ultrasonic horn, the buildup of high pressures inside a [...] Read more.
This manuscript summarizes the failure mechanisms found in inorganic fullerene-type tungsten disulfide (IF-WS2) nanoparticles treated with diverse pressure loading methods. The approaches utilized to induce failure included: the use of an ultrasonic horn, the buildup of high pressures inside a shock tube which created a shock wave that propagated and impinged in the sample, and impact with military rounds. After treatment, samples were characterized using electron microscopy, powder X-ray diffraction, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and surface area analysis. The microstructural changes observed in the IF-WS2 particulates as a consequence of the treatments could be categorized in two distinct fracture modes. The most commonly observed was the formation of a crack at the particles surface followed by a phase transformation from the 3D cage-like structures into the 2D layered polymorphs, with subsequent agglomeration of the plate-like sheets to produce larger particle sizes. The secondary mechanism identified was the incipient delamination of IF-WS2. We encountered evidence that the IF-WS2 structure collapse initiated in all cases at the edges and vertices of the polyhedral particles, which acted as stress concentrators, independent of the load application mode or its duration. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Role of Lead (Pb) in the High Temperature Formation of MoS2 Nanotubes
Inorganics 2014, 2(2), 363-376; doi:10.3390/inorganics2020363
Received: 23 April 2014 / Revised: 27 May 2014 / Accepted: 4 June 2014 / Published: 23 June 2014
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Abstract
Recent studies have clearly indicated the favorable effect of lead as a growth promoter for MX2 (M = Mo, W; X = S, Se) nanotubes using MX2 powder as a precursor material. The experimental work indicated that the lead [...] Read more.
Recent studies have clearly indicated the favorable effect of lead as a growth promoter for MX2 (M = Mo, W; X = S, Se) nanotubes using MX2 powder as a precursor material. The experimental work indicated that the lead atoms are not stable in the molybdenum oxide lattice ion high concentration. The initial lead concentration in the oxide nanowhiskers (Pb:Mo ratio = 0.28) is reduced by one order of magnitude after one year in the drawer. The initial Pb concentration in the MoS2 nanotubes lattice (produced by solar ablation) is appreciably smaller (Pb:Mo ratio for the primary samples is 0.12) and is further reduced with time and annealing at 810 °C, without consuming the nanotubes. In order to elucidate the composition of these nanotubes in greater detail; the Pb-“modified” MX2 compounds were studied by means of DFT calculations and additional experimental work. The calculations indicate that Pb doping as well as Pb intercalation of MoS2 lead to the destabilization of the system; and therefore a high Pb content within the MoS2 lattice cannot be expected in the final products. Furthermore; substitutional doping (PbMo) leads to p-type semiconducting character; while intercalation of MoS2 by Pb atoms (Pby/MoS2) should cause n-type semiconducting behavior. This study not only sheds light on the role of added lead to the growth of the nanotubes and their role as electron donors; but furthermore could pave the way to a large scale synthesis of the MoS2 nanotubes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Gas-Phase and Microsolvated Glycine Interacting with Boron Nitride Nanotubes. A B3LYP-D2* Periodic Study
Inorganics 2014, 2(2), 334-350; doi:10.3390/inorganics2020334
Received: 9 May 2014 / Revised: 29 May 2014 / Accepted: 30 May 2014 / Published: 18 June 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4143 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The adsorption of glycine (Gly) both in gas-phase conditions and in a microsolvated state on a series of zig-zag (n,0) single-walled boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs, n = 4, 6, 9 and 15) has been studied by means of B3LYP-D2* periodic [...] Read more.
The adsorption of glycine (Gly) both in gas-phase conditions and in a microsolvated state on a series of zig-zag (n,0) single-walled boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs, n = 4, 6, 9 and 15) has been studied by means of B3LYP-D2* periodic calculations. Gas-phase Gly is found to be chemisorbed on the (4,0), (6,0) and (9,0) BNNTs by means of a dative interaction between the NH2 group of Gly and a B atom of the BNNTs, whose computed adsorption energies are gradually decreased by increasing the tube radius. On the (15,0) BNNT, Gly is found to be physisorbed with an adsorption driving force mainly dictated by p-stacking dispersion interactions. Gly adsorption in a microsolvated environment has been studied in the presence of seven water molecules by progressively microsolvating the dry Gly/BNNT interface. The most stable structures on the (6,0), (9,0) and (15,0) BNNTs present the Gly/BNNT interface fully bridged by the water solvent molecules; i.e., no direct contact between Gly and the BNNTs takes place, whereas on the (4,0) BNNT the most stable structure presents a unique direct interaction between the COO Gly group and a B atom of the nanotube. Further energetic analyses indicate that the (6,0), (9,0) and (15,0) BNNTs exhibit a low water affinity, which favors the Gly/water interactions upon BNNT coadsorption. In contrast, the (4,0) BNNT has been found to show a large water affinity, bringing the replacement of adsorbed water by a microsolvated glycine molecule as an unfavorable process. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Continuous Production of IF-WS2 Nanoparticles by a Rotary Process
Inorganics 2014, 2(2), 313-333; doi:10.3390/inorganics2020313
Received: 14 March 2014 / Revised: 6 May 2014 / Accepted: 4 June 2014 / Published: 13 June 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (6070 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This manuscript demonstrates the design, modification and initial investigation of a rotary furnace for the manufacturing of inorganic fullerene WS2 nanoparticles. Different preparation methods starting with various precursors have been investigated, of which the gas-solid reaction starting with WO3 nanoparticles [...] Read more.
This manuscript demonstrates the design, modification and initial investigation of a rotary furnace for the manufacturing of inorganic fullerene WS2 nanoparticles. Different preparation methods starting with various precursors have been investigated, of which the gas-solid reaction starting with WO3 nanoparticles was the most efficient technique. Furthermore, the influence of temperature, reaction time, and reaction gases etc. on the synthesis of inorganic fullerene WS2 nanomaterials was investigated, and these parameters were optimised based on combined characterisations using XRD, SEM and TEM. In addition, the furnace was further modified to include a baffled tube, a continuous gas-blow feeding system, and a collection system, in order to improve the batch yield and realise continuous production. This technique has improved the production from less than 1 g/batch in a traditional tube furnace to a few tens of g/batch, and could be easily scaled up to industry level production. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Thermoplastic Polymer Nanocomposites Based on Inorganic Fullerene-like Nanoparticles and Inorganic Nanotubes
Inorganics 2014, 2(2), 291-312; doi:10.3390/inorganics2020291
Received: 3 March 2014 / Revised: 3 June 2014 / Accepted: 5 June 2014 / Published: 12 June 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1843 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Using inorganic fullerene-like (IF) nanoparticles and inorganic nanotubes (INT) in organic-inorganic hybrid composite, materials provide the potential for improving thermal, mechanical, and tribological properties of conventional composites. The processing of such high-performance hybrid thermoplastic polymer nanocomposites is achieved via melt-blending without the [...] Read more.
Using inorganic fullerene-like (IF) nanoparticles and inorganic nanotubes (INT) in organic-inorganic hybrid composite, materials provide the potential for improving thermal, mechanical, and tribological properties of conventional composites. The processing of such high-performance hybrid thermoplastic polymer nanocomposites is achieved via melt-blending without the aid of any modifier or compatibilizing agent. The incorporation of small quantities (0.1–4 wt.%) of IF/INTs (tungsten disulfide, IF-WS2 or molybdenum disulfide, MoS2) generates notable performance enhancements through reinforcement effects and excellent lubricating ability in comparison with promising carbon nanotubes or other inorganic nanoscale fillers. It was shown that these IF/INT nanocomposites can provide an effective balance between performance, cost effectiveness, and processability, which is of significant importance for extending the practical applications of diverse hierarchical thermoplastic-based composites. Full article
Open AccessArticle From Stable ZnO and GaN Clusters to Novel Double Bubbles and Frameworks
Inorganics 2014, 2(2), 248-263; doi:10.3390/inorganics2020248
Received: 1 April 2014 / Revised: 4 May 2014 / Accepted: 5 May 2014 / Published: 28 May 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1220 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A bottom up approach is employed in the design of novel materials: first, gas-phase “double bubble” clusters are constructed from high symmetry, Th, 24 and 96 atom, single bubbles of ZnO and GaN. These are used to construct bulk frameworks. [...] Read more.
A bottom up approach is employed in the design of novel materials: first, gas-phase “double bubble” clusters are constructed from high symmetry, Th, 24 and 96 atom, single bubbles of ZnO and GaN. These are used to construct bulk frameworks. Upon geometry optimization—minimisation of energies and forces computed using density functional theory—the symmetry of the double bubble clusters is reduced to either C1 or C2, and the average bond lengths for the outer bubbles are 1.9 Å, whereas the average bonds for the inner bubble are larger for ZnO than for GaN; 2.0 Å and 1.9 Å, respectively. A careful analysis of the bond distributions reveals that the inter-bubble bonds are bi-modal, and that there is a greater distortion for ZnO. Similar bond distributions are found for the corresponding frameworks. The distortion of the ZnO double bubble is found to be related to the increased flexibility of the outer bubble when composed of ZnO rather than GaN, which is reflected in their bulk moduli. The energetics suggest that (ZnO)12@(GaN)48 is more stable both in gas phase and bulk frameworks than (ZnO)12@(ZnO)48 and (GaN)12@(GaN)48. Formation enthalpies are similar to those found for carbon fullerenes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle IF-WS2/Nanostructured Carbon Hybrids Generation and Their Characterization
Inorganics 2014, 2(2), 211-232; doi:10.3390/inorganics2020211
Received: 5 March 2014 / Revised: 24 April 2014 / Accepted: 28 April 2014 / Published: 9 May 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (7686 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the aim to develop a new generation of materials that combine either the known energy absorbing properties of carbon nanofibers (CNF), or the carbon-carbon bond strength of graphene sheets (G), with the shock resistance properties reported for Inorganic Fullerene type WS [...] Read more.
With the aim to develop a new generation of materials that combine either the known energy absorbing properties of carbon nanofibers (CNF), or the carbon-carbon bond strength of graphene sheets (G), with the shock resistance properties reported for Inorganic Fullerene type WS2 structures (IF-WS2), hybrid CNF/IF-WS2 and G/IF-WS2 were generated, characterized and tested. Experimentation revealed that in situ growth of carbon nanostructures with inorganic fullerene tungsten disulfide particulates had to be performed from particular precursors and fabrication conditions to avoid undesirable byproducts that hinder fiber growth or deter graphene generation. The novel protocols that allowed us to integrate the IF-WS2 with the carbon nanostructures, producing dispersions at the nanoscale, are reported. Resulting hybrid CNF/IF-WS2 and G/IF-WS2 products were analyzed by X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy). The thermal stability of samples in air was evaluated by Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA). CNF/IF-WS2 and G/IF-WS2 hybrids were introduced into epoxy matrices, and the mechanical properties of the resulting composites were analyzed using nanoindentation. Epoxy composite samples showed drastic improvements in the Young’s modulus and hardness values by the use of only 1% hybrid weight loadings. The carbon nanofiber inclusions seem to have a much greater impact on the mechanical properties of the composite than the graphene based counterparts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Single- to Triple-Wall WS2 Nanotubes Obtained by High-Power Plasma Ablation of WS2 Multiwall Nanotubes
Inorganics 2014, 2(2), 177-190; doi:10.3390/inorganics2020177
Received: 15 March 2014 / Revised: 21 April 2014 / Accepted: 21 April 2014 / Published: 29 April 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (9363 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The synthesis of inorganic nanotubes (INT) from layered compounds of a small size (<10 nm in diameter) and number of layers (<4) is not a trivial task. Calculations based on density functional tight-binding theory (DFTB) predict that under highly exergonic conditions, the [...] Read more.
The synthesis of inorganic nanotubes (INT) from layered compounds of a small size (<10 nm in diameter) and number of layers (<4) is not a trivial task. Calculations based on density functional tight-binding theory (DFTB) predict that under highly exergonic conditions, the reaction could be driven into a “window” of (meta-) stability, where 1–3-layer nanotubes will be formed. Indeed, in this study, single- to triple-wall WS2 nanotubes with a diameter of 3–7 nm and a length of 20–100 nm were produced by high-power plasma irradiation of multiwall WS2 nanotubes. As target materials, plane crystals (2H), quasi spherical nanoparticles (IF) and multiwall, 20–30 layers, WS2 nanotubes were assessed. Surprisingly, only INT-WS2 treated by plasma resulted in very small, and of a few layers, “daughter” nanotubules. The daughter nanotubes occur mostly attached to the outer surface of the predecessor, i.e., the multiwall “mother” nanotubes. They appear having either a common growth axis with the multiwall nanotube or tilted by approximately 30° or 60° with respect to its axis. This suggests that the daughter nanotubes are generated by exfoliation along specific crystallographic directions. A growth mechanism for the daughter nanotubes is proposed. High resolution transmission and scanning electron microscopy (HRTEM/HRSEM) analyses revealed the distinctive nanoscale structures and helped elucidating their growth mechanism. Full article
Open AccessArticle Electromechanical Properties of Small Transition-Metal Dichalcogenide Nanotubes
Inorganics 2014, 2(2), 155-167; doi:10.3390/inorganics2020155
Received: 14 March 2014 / Revised: 11 April 2014 / Accepted: 11 April 2014 / Published: 23 April 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (814 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Transition-metal dichalcogenide nanotubes (TMC-NTs) are investigated for their electromechanical properties under applied tensile strain using density functional-based methods. For small elongations, linear strain-stress relations according to Hooke’s law have been obtained, while for larger strains, plastic behavior is observed. Similar to their [...] Read more.
Transition-metal dichalcogenide nanotubes (TMC-NTs) are investigated for their electromechanical properties under applied tensile strain using density functional-based methods. For small elongations, linear strain-stress relations according to Hooke’s law have been obtained, while for larger strains, plastic behavior is observed. Similar to their 2D counterparts, TMC-NTs show nearly a linear change of band gaps with applied strain. This change is, however, nearly diameter-independent in case of armchair forms. The semiconductor-metal transition occurs for much larger deformations compared to the layered tube equivalents. This transition is faster for heavier chalcogen elements, due to their smaller intrinsic band gaps. Unlike in the 2D forms, the top of valence and the bottom of conduction bands stay unchanged with strain, and the zigzag NTs are direct band gap materials until the semiconductor-metal transition. Meanwhile, the applied strain causes modification in band curvature, affecting the effective masses of electrons and holes. The quantum conductance of TMC-NTs starts to occur close to the Fermi level when tensile strain is applied. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview Nanostructured Boron Nitride: From Molecular Design to Hydrogen Storage Application
Inorganics 2014, 2(3), 396-409; doi:10.3390/inorganics2030396
Received: 30 April 2014 / Revised: 11 July 2014 / Accepted: 11 July 2014 / Published: 31 July 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (8608 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The spray-pyrolysis of borazine at 1400 °C under nitrogen generates boron nitride (BN) nanoparticles (NPs). The as-prepared samples form elementary blocks containing slightly agglomerated NPs with sizes ranging from 55 to 120 nm, a Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET)-specific surface area of 34.6 m2 [...] Read more.
The spray-pyrolysis of borazine at 1400 °C under nitrogen generates boron nitride (BN) nanoparticles (NPs). The as-prepared samples form elementary blocks containing slightly agglomerated NPs with sizes ranging from 55 to 120 nm, a Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET)-specific surface area of 34.6 m2 g−1 and a helium density of 1.95 g cm−3. They are relatively stable in air below 850 °C in which only oxidation of the NP surface proceeds, whereas under nitrogen, their lower size affects their high temperature thermal behavior in the temperature range of 1450–2000 °C. Nitrogen heat-treated nanostructures have been carefully analyzed using X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. The high temperature treatment (2000 °C) gives hollow-cored BN-NPs that are strongly facetted, and after ball-milling, hollow core-mesoporous shell NPs displaying a BET-specific surface area of 200.5 m2·g−1 and a total pore volume of 0.287 cm3·g−1 were produced. They have been used as host material to confine, then destabilize ammonia borane (AB), thus improving its dehydrogenation properties. The as-formed AB@BN nanocomposites liberated H2 at 40 °C, and H2 is pure in the temperature range 40–80 °C, leading to a safe and practical hydrogen storage composite material. Full article
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