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- Electrochemical synthesis of CeO2 and CeO2/montmorillonite nanocomposites.
- Nanocrystalline cerium oxide thin films on metal and semiconductor substrates have been fabricated with a novel electrodeposition approach - anodic oxidation. X-ray diffraction analysis indicated that as-produced cerium oxide films are characteristic face-centered cubic fluorite structure with 5 ~ 20 nm crystal sizes. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy study probes the non-stoichiometry property of as-produced films. Raman spectroscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy have been applied to analyze the films as well. Deposition mode, current density, reaction temperature and pH have also been investigated and the deposition condition has been optimized for preferred oriented film formation: galvanostatic deposition with current density of -0.06 mA/cm2, T > 50oC and 7 < pH < 10. Generally, potentiostatic deposition results in random structured cerium oxide films. Sintering of potentiostatic deposited cerium oxide films leads to crystal growth and reach nearly full density at 1100oC. It is demonstrated that in-air heating favors the 1:2 stoichiometry of CeO2. Nanocrystalline cerium oxide powders (4 ~ 10 nm) have been produced with anodic electrochemical synthesis. X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy were employed to investigate lattice expansion phenomenon related to the nanoscale cerium oxide particles. The pH of reaction solution plays an important role in electrochemical synthesis of cerium oxide films and powder. Cyclic voltammetry and rotation disk electrode voltammetry have been used to study the reaction mechanisms. The results indicate that the film deposition and powder formation follow different reaction schemes. Ce(III)-L complexation is a reversible process, Ce3+ at medium basic pH region (7~10) is electrochemically oxidized to and then CeO2 film is deposited on the substrate. CE mechanism is suggested to be involved in the formation of films, free Ce3+ species is coordinated with OH- at high basic pH region (>10) to Ce2O3 immediately prior to electrochemically oxidation Ce2O3 to CeO2. CeO2 / montmorillonite nanocomposites were electrochemically produced. X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy illustrate the retaining of FCC structure for cerium oxide. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and Differential Scanning Calorimetry of composites indicate the insertion of montmorillonite platelets into the structural matrix of cerium oxide. Sintering study of the nanocomposites demonstrates that low concentration of montmorillonite platelet coordination into cerium oxide matrix increases crystal growth rate whereas high concentration of montmoillonite in nanocomposites retards the increase of crystallite size during the densification process.