The preparation of nanoengineered materials with controlled nanostructures, for example, with an anisotropic phase segregated structure or a regular periodicity rather than with a broad range of interparticle distances, has remained a synthetic challenge for intermetallics. Artificially structured materials, including multilayers, amorphous alloys, quasicrystals, metastable crystalline alloys, or granular metals, are mostly prepared using physical gas phase procedures. We report a novel, powerful solution-mediated approach for the formation of nanoparticular binary antimonides based on presynthesized antimony nanoparticles. The transition metal antimonides M-Sb (M = Co, Ni, Cu 2, Zn) were obtained with sizes ranging from 20 and 60 nm. Through careful control of the reaction conditions, single-phase nanoparticular antimonides were synthesized. The nanophases were investigated by powder X-ray diffraction and (high resolution) electron microscopy. The approach is based on activated metal nanoparticles as precursors for the synthesis of the intermetallic compounds. X-ray powder diffraction studies of reaction intermediates allowed monitoring of the reaction kinetics. The small particle size of the reactants ensures short diffusion paths, low activation barriers, and low reaction temperatures, thereby eliminating solid-solid diffusion as the rate-limiting step in conventional bulk-scale solid-state synthesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry