Department of Chemistry; Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Iron oxide nanomaterials participate in redox processes that give them ideal properties for their use as earth-abundant catalysts. Fabricating nanocatalysts for such applications requires detailed knowledge of the deposition and growth. We report the spontaneous deposition of iron oxide nanoparticles on HOPG in defect areas and on step edges from a metal precursor solution. To study the nucleation and growth of iron oxide nanoparticles, tailored defects were created on the surface of HOPG using various ion sources that serve as the target sites for iron oxide nucleation. After solution deposition and annealing, the iron oxide nanoparticles were found to nucleate and coalesce at 400 °C. AFM revealed that the particles on the sp3 carbon sites enabled the nanoparticles to aggregate into larger particles. The iron oxide nanoparticles were characterized as having an Fe3+ oxidation state and two different oxygen species, Fe–O and Fe–OH/Fe–OOH, as determined by XPS. STEM imaging and EDS mapping confirmed that the majority of the nanoparticles grown were converted to hematite after annealing at 400 °C. A mechanism of spontaneous and selective deposition on the HOPG surface and transformation of the iron oxide nanoparticles is proposed. These results suggest a simple method for growing nanoparticles as a model catalyst.
de Alwis, C.,
Spontaneous selective deposition of iron oxide nanoparticles on graphite as model catalysts.
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