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Synthesis of Cu, Zn and Cu/Zn brass alloy nanoparticles


March 2014

by K. Schütte, H. Meyer, C. Gemel, J. Barthel, R.A. Fischer and C. Janiak

Microwave-induced decomposition of the transition metal amidinates {[Me(C(NiPr)2)]Cu}2 (1) and [Me(C(NiPr)2)]2Zn (2) in the ionic liquid 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate ([BMIm][BF4]) or in propylene carbonate (PC) gives copper and zinc nanoparticles which are stable in the absence of capping ligands (surfactants) for more than six weeks. Co-decomposition of (1) and (2) yields the intermetallic nano-brass phases β-CuZn and γ-Cu3Zn depending on the chosen molar ratios of the precursors.

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In the present study nanoparticles were characterised by high-angle annular dark field-scanning transmission electron microscopy (HAADF-STEM), dynamic light scattering and powder X-ray diffractometry. Microstructure characterisations were complemented by STEM with spatially resolved energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Synthesis in ILs yields significantly smaller nanoparticles than in PC. β-CuZn alloy nanoparticles are found to be precursors to catalysts for methanol synthesis from the synthesis gas H2/CO/CO2 with a productivity of 10.7 mol(MeOH) (kg(Cu) h)−1.

Further reading:

K. Schütte, H. Meyer, C. Gemel, J. Barthel, R.A. Fischer and C. Janiak: Synthesis of Cu, Zn and Cu/Zn brass alloy nanoparticles from metal amidinate precursors in ionic liquids or propylene carbonate with relevance to methanol synthesis, Nanoscale 6 (2014) 3116-3126.


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