Synthesis of Lithium Niobate Nanocrystals with Size Focusing through an Ostwald Ripening Process

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"Synthesis of Lithium Niobate Nanocrystals with Size Focusing through an Ostwald Ripening Process," Ali, R.F.; Gates, B.D., Chemistry of Materials, 2018, 30 (6), 2028-2035.


Date created: 
DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b05282

A simple surfactant assisted solution-phase approach is demonstrated here for the preparation of lithium niobate (LiNbO3) nanoparticles with an average size of 30 nm. This solution-phase process results in the formation of crystalline, uniform nanoparticles of LiNbO3 at 220 °C with an optimal reaction time of 36 h. Advantages of this method also include the preparation of crystalline nanoparticles of LiNbO3 without the need for further heat treatment or the use of an inert atmosphere. The growth of these nanoparticles began with a controlled agglomeration of nuclei. The reaction subsequently underwent a process of oriented attachment and Ostwald ripening, which dominated and controlled the further growth of the nanoparticles. These processes produced single-crystalline nanoparticles of LiNbO3. The average dimensions of the nanoparticles were tuned from 30 to 95 nm by increasing the reaction time of the solvothermal process. The LiNbO3 nanoparticles were characterized using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), selected area electron diffraction (SAED), high resolution TEM, X-ray diffraction, and Raman spectroscopy techniques. The nanoparticles were also confirmed to be optically active for second harmonic generation (SHG). These particles could enable further development of SHG based microscopy techniques.

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Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)