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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

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