Manipulating the self-assembling process to obtain control over the morphologies of copper oxide in hydrothermal synthesis and creating pores in the oxide architecture

Ziyi Zhong*, Vivien Ng, Jizhong Luo, Siew Pheng Teh, Jaclyn Teo, Aharon Gedanken

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

Copper oxide with various morphologies was synthesized by the hydrolysis of Cu(ac)2 with urea under mild hydrothermal conditions. In the synthesis, a series of organic amines with one or two amine groups (monoamine and diamine), including isobutylamine, octylamine (OLA), dodecylamine, octadecylamine (monoamines), ethylenediamine dihydrochloride, and hexamethylenediamine (diamines), was used as the "structure-directing agent". The monoamines led to the formation of one-dimensional (1D) aggregates of the copper oxide precursor particles (Pre-CuO), while the diamines led to the formation of two-dimensional (2D) aggregates. In both cases, the shorter carbon-chain amine molecules showed a stronger structure-directing function than that of the longer carbon-chain amine molecules. Next, in a series of syntheses, OLA was selected for further study, and the experimental parameters were systematically manipulated. When the hydrolysis was adjusted to a very slow rate by coupling the hydrolysis reaction with an esterification reaction, ID aggregates of Pre-CuO were formed; when the hydrolysis rate was in the middle range, spherical Pre-CuO architectures composed of smaller linear aggregates were formed. However, under the high hydrolysis rates achieved by increasing the precipitation agent (urea) or by conducting the reaction at high temperatures (≥ 120 °C), only Pre-CuO nanoparticles with a featureless morphology were formed. The formed spherical Pre-CuO architectures can be converted to a porous structure (CuOx) after removing the OLA molecules via calcination. Compared to the ID and 2D aggregates, this porous architecture is highly thermally stable and did not collapse even after calcination at 500 °C. Preliminary results showed that the porous structure can be used both as a catalyst support and as a catalyst for the oxidation of CO at low temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5971-5977
Number of pages7
JournalLangmuir
Volume23
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 22 May 2007
Externally publishedYes

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