5 years ago

Mechanistic Aspects in the Formation, Growth and Surface Functionalization of Metal Oxide Nanoparticles in Organic Solvents

Mechanistic Aspects in the Formation, Growth and Surface Functionalization of Metal Oxide Nanoparticles in Organic Solvents
Rupali Deshmukh, Markus Niederberger
The synthesis of metal oxide nanoparticles in organic solvents, so-called nonaqueous (or nonhydrolytic) processes represent powerful alternatives to aqueous approaches and have become an independent research field. 10 Years ago, when we published our first review on organic reaction pathways in nonaqueous sol–gel approaches, the number of examples was relatively limited. Nowadays, it is almost impossible to provide an exhaustive overview. Here we review the development of the last few years, without neglecting pioneering examples, which help to follow the historical development. The importance of a profound understanding of mechanistic aspects of nanoparticle crystallization and formation mechanisms can't be overestimated, when it comes to the design of rational synthesis concepts under minimization of trial-and-error experiments. The main reason for the progress in mechanistic understanding lies in the availability of characterization tools that make it possible to monitor chemical reactions from the dissolution of the precursor to the nucleation and growth of the nanoparticles, by ex situ methods involving sampling after different reaction times, but more and more also by in situ studies. After a short introduction to experimental aspects of nonaqueous sol–gel routes to metal oxide nanoparticles, we provide an overview of the main and basic organic reaction pathways in these approaches. Afterwards, we summarize the main characterization methods to study formation mechanisms, and then we discuss in great depth the chemical formation mechanisms of many different types of metal oxide nanoparticles. The review concludes with a paragraph on selected crystallization mechanisms reported for nonaqueous systems and a few illustrative examples of nonaqueous sol–gel concepts applied to surface chemistry. Chemical formation and crystallization mechanisms play an outstanding role in the development of rational synthesis routes to inorganic nanoparticles. In this review, the mechanistic aspects of metal oxide nanoparticle formation in organic solvents are discussed with a focus on the organic reaction pathways.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/chem.201605957

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