Morphology-Controllable Synthesis of CeO2on a Pt Electrode
© to the authors 2008
Received: 13 August 2008
Accepted: 11 September 2008
Published: 30 September 2008
Nanoscale cerium dioxides with shape of nanoparticles, nanorods, and nanotubes were electrochemically synthesized. The morphology of CeO2was modulated by changing electrode potential and potential direction. CeO2nanorods and CeO2nanotubes were synthesized via the potentiostatic and cyclic voltammeteric methods, respectively. The morphology and structure of the obtained CeO2were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). A possible formation mechanism has been suggested to illuminate the relationship between the preparation condition and the morphology of CeO2.
The one-dimension (1D) nanostructure has attracted much attention since the discovery of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in 1952  and has offered great potential for applications in the electric devices, sensors, and others uses . Controlled synthesis of inorganic nanoparticles now is one of the important topics in colloid and material chemistry for their shape-dependent properties and potentials of self-assembly as building blocks-artificial atoms with diverse superstructures and mesocrystals [3, 4]. Much effort has been devoted to the design and preparation of nanostructures with different shapes and sizes. The morphology-controllable synthesis of nanostructured metal compounds, such as PbSe , ZnO [6, 7], In(OH)3, SnO2, and V2O5, has been successfully developed.
As one of the most active rare earth materials, ceria (cerium oxide, CeO2) has been extensively used in catalysts, fuel cells, solar cells, and polishing materials [11, 12]. Stimulated by promising applications and the fantastic properties, much attention has been directed to the controlled synthesis of CeO2 nanostructured materials. Up to now, several strategies have been demonstrated to fabricate CeO2 nanotubes, such as arc discharge, chemical vapor deposition, template-directed synthesis, and hydrothermal treatment. CeO2 nanostructured materials with ordered mesoporous cerium oxides , (100) oriented CeO2 films , nanorods , nanowires , nanotubes [17–19], nanocubes , nanospheres , and nanobelts  have been reported. Most recently, Han et al.  reported the production of ceria nanotubes via a two-step procedure, precipitation at 100 °C and aging at 0 °C for 45 days. Tang et al.  also reported layer-structured rolling Ce(OH)3 nanotubes through an alkali thermal-treatment process under oxygen-free conditions. Evidently, the methods used for synthesis of CeO2 nanostructured materials are usually complicated and time-consuming. An effective method is necessary for production of high-quality ceria nanotubes in terms of yield, uniformity, and shape control. However, it has been a challenge for the effective synthesis of CeO2 nanostructured materials so far.
In this work, we report for the first time one-step synthesis of CeO2nanoparticles, nanorods, and nanotubes via an electrochemically synthesized route. The morphology was modulated by changing the electric field, strength, and direction. A possible formation mechanism of CeO2nanostructured materials has been suggested to illuminate the relationship between the preparation condition and the morphology of yielded CeO2.
Preparation of CeO2Nanostructured Materials
CeO2was potentiostatically and cyclic voltammeterically synthesized on a Pt electrode, and accordingly, the synthesized CeO2are named as ps-CeO2and cv-CeO2, respectively. In the potentiostatically synthesized CeO2, the Pt electrode potential was kept at 1.2 V (versus KOH saturated Hg/HgO) for a length of 30, 85, and 130 s in a bath of 0.05 M Ce(NO3)3 · 6H2O and 0.1 M NH4NO3at room temperature. The pH of the solution was adjusted to 6 by NH4OH. In the cyclic voltammeterically synthesized cerium oxide, CeO2was prepared on a Pt electrode by cycling potential between 0.5 and 1.4 V at a sweep rate of 20, 30, and 50 mV s−1, respectively, for 120 min in the same bath as used in the potentiostatical synthesis.
XRD analysis of CeO2was carried out on the D/max-1200 diffractometer (Japan) using a Cu Kα X-ray source operating at 45 kV and 100 mA, scanning at the rate of 4°/min with an angular resolution of 0.05° of the 2θ scan to get the XRD patterns. The morphologies of the CeO2were studied on a FEI Nova 400 field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM) (Peabody, Netherland).
Results and Discussion
Morphologies of Synthesized CeO2Nanostructured Materials
Possible Formation Mechanism of CeO2Nanotubes
CeO2nanoparticles, nanorods, and nanotubes were electrochemically fabricated via a one-step route. The morphology of CeO2can be modulated by changing electrode potential and potential direction. At constant electric field, such as the way of potentiostatic, OH−and Ce3+ions are electrically adsorbed onto the surfaces of CeO2in an oriented manner under pulling force of the direct current electric field and fused together. It leads to the formation of CeO2nanorods. Curved CeO2nanotubes can be produced by a continuously changing electric field direction, such as cyclic voltammetry. The curved degrees of CeO2nanotubes can be modulated by changing electrode potential sweep rates.
This work was financially supported by NSFC of China (Grant Nos 20476109 and 20676156), by the Chinese Ministry of Education (Grant No. 307021), China National 863 Program (2007AA05Z124), Chongqing and Guangdong Sci. & Tech. Key Projects, China (CSTC2007AB6012, 2007A010700001, and 2007B090400032).
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