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Nanomaterials 2018, 8(6), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8060403

Insights into Metal Oxide and Zero-Valent Metal Nanocrystal Formation on Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube Surfaces during Sol-Gel Process

1
Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA
2
Department of Environment and Global Health, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 May 2018 / Revised: 24 May 2018 / Accepted: 29 May 2018 / Published: 5 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparation and Application of Hybrid Nanomaterials)
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Abstract

Carbon nanotubes are hybridized with metal crystals to impart multifunctionality into the nanohybrids (NHs). Simple but effective synthesis techniques are desired to form both zero-valent and oxides of different metal species on carbon nanotube surfaces. Sol-gel technique brings in significant advantages and is a viable technique for such synthesis. This study probes the efficacy of sol-gel process and aims to identify underlying mechanisms of crystal formation. Standard electron potential (SEP) is used as a guiding parameter to choose the metal species; i.e., highly negative SEP (e.g., Zn) with oxide crystal tendency, highly positive SEP (e.g., Ag) with zero-valent crystal-tendency, and intermediate range SEP (e.g., Cu) to probe the oxidation tendency in crystal formation are chosen. Transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction are used to evaluate the synthesized NHs. Results indicate that SEP can be a reliable guide for the resulting crystalline phase of a certain metal species, particularly when the magnitude of this parameter is relatively high. However, for intermediate range SEP-metals, mix phase crystals can be expected. For example, Cu will form Cu2O and zero-valent Cu crystals, unless the synthesis is performed in a reducing environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanohybrid; hybridization; standard electron potential; crystal phase; reducing agents nanohybrid; hybridization; standard electron potential; crystal phase; reducing agents
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Das, D.; Sabaraya, I.V.; Sabo-Attwood, T.; Saleh, N.B. Insights into Metal Oxide and Zero-Valent Metal Nanocrystal Formation on Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube Surfaces during Sol-Gel Process. Nanomaterials 2018, 8, 403.

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