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Mechanically activated catalyst mixing for high-yield boron nitride nanotube growth

Authors
Journal
Nanoscale Research Letters
1931-7573
Publisher
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Volume
7
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/1556-276x-7-417
Keywords
  • Nano Express
Disciplines
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science

Abstract

Boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) have many fascinating properties and a wide range of applications. An improved ball milling method has been developed for high-yield BNNT synthesis, in which metal nitrate, such as Fe(NO3)3, and amorphous boron powder are milled together to prepare a more effective precursor. The heating of the precursor in nitrogen-containing gas produces a high density of BNNTs with controlled structures. The chemical bonding and structure of the synthesized BNNTs are precisely probed by near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy. The higher efficiency of the precursor containing milling-activated catalyst is revealed by thermogravimetric analyses. Detailed X-ray diffraction and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy investigations disclose that during ball milling the Fe(NO3)3 decomposes to Fe which greatly accelerates the nitriding reaction and therefore increases the yield of BNNTs. This improved synthesis method brings the large-scale production and application of BNNTs one step closer.

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