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Calcination does not remove all carbon from colloidal nanocrystal assemblies
Ames Laboratory Accepted Manuscripts
  • Pratyasha Mohapatra, Iowa State University
  • Santosh Shaw, Iowa State University
  • Deyny Mendivelso-Perez, Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory
  • Jonathan M. Bobbitt, Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory
  • Tiago F. Silva, Universidade de São Paulo
  • Fabian Naab, University of Michigan
  • Bin Yuan, Iowa State University
  • Xinchun Tian, Iowa State University
  • Emily A. Smith, Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory
  • Ludovico Cademartiri, Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory
Publication Date
Ames Laboratory; Materials Science & Engineering; Chemistry; Chemical and Biological Engineering
Report Number
Journal Title
Nature Communications

Removing organics from hybrid nanostructures is a crucial step in many bottom-up materials fabrication approaches. It is usually assumed that calcination is an effective solution to this problem, especially for thin films. This assumption has led to its application in thousands of papers. We here show that this general assumption is incorrect by using a relevant and highly controlled model system consisting of thin films of ligand-capped ZrO2 nanocrystals. After calcination at 800 °C for 12 h, while Raman spectroscopy fails to detect the ligands after calcination, elastic backscattering spectrometry characterization demonstrates that ~18% of the original carbon atoms are still present in the film. By comparison plasma processing successfully removes the ligands. Our growth kinetic analysis shows that the calcined materials have significantly different interfacial properties than the plasma-processed counterparts. Calcination is not a reliable strategy for the production of single-phase all-inorganic materials from colloidal nanoparticles.

Iowa State University Digital Repository, Ames IA (United States)
Citation Information
Pratyasha Mohapatra, Santosh Shaw, Deyny Mendivelso-Perez, Jonathan M. Bobbitt, et al.. "Calcination does not remove all carbon from colloidal nanocrystal assemblies" Vol. 8 Iss. 1 (2017)
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