Alkaline hydrothermal treatment of titanate nanostructures

Morgan, Dana Lee (2010) Alkaline hydrothermal treatment of titanate nanostructures. PhD by Publication, Queensland University of Technology.


Since its initial proposal in 1998, alkaline hydrothermal processing has rapidly become an established technology for the production of titanate nanostructures. This simple, highly reproducible process has gained a strong research following since its conception. However, complete understanding and elucidation of nanostructure phase and formation have not yet been achieved. Without fully understanding phase, formation, and other important competing effects of the synthesis parameters on the final structure, the maximum potential of these nanostructures cannot be obtained. Therefore this study examined the influence of synthesis parameters on the formation of titanate nanostructures produced by alkaline hydrothermal treatment. The parameters included alkaline concentration, hydrothermal temperature, the precursor material‘s crystallite size and also the phase of the titanium dioxide precursor (TiO2, or titania). The nanostructure‘s phase and morphology was analysed using X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), dynamic light scattering (non-invasive backscattering), nitrogen sorption, and Rietveld analysis were used to determine phase, for particle sizing, surface area determinations, and establishing phase concentrations, respectively. This project rigorously examined the effect of alkaline concentration and hydrothermal temperature on three commercially sourced and two self-prepared TiO2 powders. These precursors consisted of both pure- or mixed-phase anatase and rutile polymorphs, and were selected to cover a range of phase concentrations and crystallite sizes. Typically, these precursors were treated with 5–10 M sodium hydroxide (NaOH) solutions at temperatures between 100–220 °C. Both nanotube and nanoribbon morphologies could be produced depending on the combination of these hydrothermal conditions. Both titania and titanate phases are comprised of TiO6 units which are assembled in different combinations. The arrangement of these atoms affects the binding energy between the Ti–O bonds. Raman spectroscopy and XPS were therefore employed in a preliminary study of phase determination for these materials. The change in binding energy from a titania to a titanate binding energy was investigated in this study, and the transformation of titania precursor into nanotubes and titanate nanoribbons was directly observed by these methods. Evaluation of the Raman and XPS results indicated a strengthening in the binding energies of both the Ti (2p3/2) and O (1s) bands which correlated to an increase in strength and decrease in resolution of the characteristic nanotube doublet observed between 320 and 220 cm.1 in the Raman spectra of these products. The effect of phase and crystallite size on nanotube formation was examined over a series of temperatures (100.200 �‹C in 20 �‹C increments) at a set alkaline concentration (7.5 M NaOH). These parameters were investigated by employing both pure- and mixed- phase precursors of anatase and rutile. This study indicated that both the crystallite size and phase affect nanotube formation, with rutile requiring a greater driving force (essentially �\harsher. hydrothermal conditions) than anatase to form nanotubes, where larger crystallites forms of the precursor also appeared to impede nanotube formation slightly. These parameters were further examined in later studies. The influence of alkaline concentration and hydrothermal temperature were systematically examined for the transformation of Degussa P25 into nanotubes and nanoribbons, and exact conditions for nanostructure synthesis were determined. Correlation of these data sets resulted in the construction of a morphological phase diagram, which is an effective reference for nanostructure formation. This morphological phase diagram effectively provides a .recipe book�e for the formation of titanate nanostructures. Morphological phase diagrams were also constructed for larger, near phase-pure anatase and rutile precursors, to further investigate the influence of hydrothermal reaction parameters on the formation of titanate nanotubes and nanoribbons. The effects of alkaline concentration, hydrothermal temperature, crystallite phase and size are observed when the three morphological phase diagrams are compared. Through the analysis of these results it was determined that alkaline concentration and hydrothermal temperature affect nanotube and nanoribbon formation independently through a complex relationship, where nanotubes are primarily affected by temperature, whilst nanoribbons are strongly influenced by alkaline concentration. Crystallite size and phase also affected the nanostructure formation. Smaller precursor crystallites formed nanostructures at reduced hydrothermal temperature, and rutile displayed a slower rate of precursor consumption compared to anatase, with incomplete conversion observed for most hydrothermal conditions. The incomplete conversion of rutile into nanotubes was examined in detail in the final study. This study selectively examined the kinetics of precursor dissolution in order to understand why rutile incompletely converted. This was achieved by selecting a single hydrothermal condition (9 M NaOH, 160 °C) where nanotubes are known to form from both anatase and rutile, where the synthesis was quenched after 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 hours. The influence of precursor phase on nanostructure formation was explicitly determined to be due to different dissolution kinetics; where anatase exhibited zero-order dissolution and rutile second-order. This difference in kinetic order cannot be simply explained by the variation in crystallite size, as the inherent surface areas of the two precursors were determined to have first-order relationships with time. Therefore, the crystallite size (and inherent surface area) does not affect the overall kinetic order of dissolution; rather, it determines the rate of reaction. Finally, nanostructure formation was found to be controlled by the availability of dissolved titanium (Ti4+) species in solution, which is mediated by the dissolution kinetics of the precursor.

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ID Code: 39298
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD by Publication)
Supervisor: Waclawik, Eric & Frost, Raymond
Keywords: alkaline hydrothermal treatment, soft-chemical, morphological phase diagram, titanium dioxide, titania, TiO2, titanate, nanoparticle, nanotube, nanoribbon, nanostructure, anatase, rutile, degussa P25, crystallite size, alkaline concentration, hydrothermal temperature, Raman spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, dissolution, kinetics
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 21 Dec 2010 05:58
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 20:00

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