A new approach for direct synthesis of well-shaped pure rutile
titania nanocrystals by hydrothermal synthesis is reported. The synthesis
of the 20 nm rutile particles from titanium isopropoxide and pH 0.5
nitric acid is achieved by vigorous stirring of the solution during the hydrothermal
treatment. The significant effect of the stirring and long aging control experiments
suggest that, at this composition, most of the condensation to TiO2
occurs during the autoclaving step. The large colloid size distribution and
the formation of the anatase structure in the absence of stirring are attributed
to the inhomogeneity developed in the solution under the extreme conditions
of the hydrothermal process. The significance of the new method is the elimination
of the commonly used mineralizers that can induce impurities into the nanocrystals,
in addition to the improved colloid shape in comparison with standard procedures.
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