Asian Scientist (Jun. 27, 2013) – Scientists have found a way to efficiently produce cerium dioxide (CeO2) nanocrystals which are used for many industrial and medical applications.
Nanocrystalline CeO2 particles are widely used as catalysts for hazardous gas treatment, in electrodes for solid oxide fuel cells, in polishing materials for advanced integrated circuits, in sunscreen cosmetics, and in other medical applications.
Current industrial methods for making nanocrystalline CeO2 are complicated and any further improvement in synthesizing CeO2 nanocrystals depended on a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in their formation at the atomic scale.
This is what an international team of scientists have achieved. In their study, published in Chemistry – A European Journal, the researchers were able to uncover the mechanism behind the formation of CeO2 nanocrystals. The finding has the potential to simplify existing processes used to synthesize CeO2 production.
“To probe the formation of nanocrystalline CeO2 in an aqueous solution, we combined different spectroscopic techniques, including dynamic light scattering, synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy, and high energy X-ray scattering,” says Dr. Atsushi Ikeda-Ohno, a member of the research team.
Using these powerful techniques, the scientists were able to observe the crystals as they evolved in solution. The information obtained by the researchers led to their discovery and is applicable to research on other metal nanocrystals.
Source: Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres; Photo:Tang Yew Chung.
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