A new soft chemical approach to synthesize nanoscale crystals of LiNbO3 has been developed. This technique was developed with the intention of producing a material for use as an optical probe in second harmonic generation microscopy. Nanocrystals of LiNbO3 were synthesized in < 24 h from a single-source metal organic precursor that decomposes at 360 °C in a solution of coordinating molecules. A longer reaction time led to the formation of pronounced rod structures up to 50 nm in length through a process of directed aggregation. The process precursors, products, and by-products are described in detail using a variety of spectroscopic methods in order to elucidate the mechanism of LiNbO3 formation and to evaluate how the process can be further improved.
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Thesis advisor: Gates, Byron D.
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