5 years ago

Modifying Surface Chemistry of Metal Oxides for Boosting Dissolution Kinetics in Water by Liquid Cell Electron Microscopy

Modifying Surface Chemistry of Metal Oxides for Boosting Dissolution Kinetics in Water by Liquid Cell Electron Microscopy
Kuan Wang, Manling Sui, Fu-Rong Chen, Shaohua Xie, Wei Zhang, Jiguo Geng, Zhenhua Zhang, Wenqiang Ding, Yue Lu, Hongxing Dai
Dissolution of metal oxides is fundamentally important for understanding mineral evolution and micromachining oxide functional materials. In general, dissolution of metal oxides is a slow and inefficient chemical reaction. Here, by introducing oxygen deficiencies to modify the surface chemistry of oxides, we can boost the dissolution kinetics of metal oxides in water, as in situ demonstrated in a liquid environmental transmission electron microscope (LETEM). The dissolution rate constant significantly increases by 16–19 orders of magnitude, equivalent to a reduction of 0.97–1.11 eV in activation energy, as compared with the normal dissolution in acid. It is evidenced from the high-resolution TEM imaging, electron energy loss spectra, and first-principle calculations where the dissolution route of metal oxides is dynamically changed by local interoperability between altered water chemistry and surface oxygen deficiencies via electron radiolysis. This discovery inspires the development of a highly efficient electron lithography method for metal oxide films in ecofriendly water, which offers an advanced technique for nanodevice fabrication.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.7b02656

DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.7b02656

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