Ultralong Ca2B2O5·H2O nanowires: water-bath pretreated eco-friendly hydrothermal synthesis, optical and rare earth-doped photoluminescence properties†
One-dimensional (1D) nanostructured metal borates have drawn considerable attention owing to their versatile applications in a multitude of fields, but it is still a great challenge to achieve a high aspect ratio in these materials via a facile and feasible route. Herein, ultralong Ca2B2O5·H2O nanowires with a length of 110–230 μm and ultrahigh aspect ratio of 240–750 are successfully synthesized for the first time via a facile water-bath pretreated eco-friendly hydrothermal technique in the absence of any additives, using low cost CaCl2, H3BO3 and NaOH as the raw materials. The formation mechanism of the ultralong nanowires is studied in detail by varying the process parameters (water-bath and hydrothermal temperature, duration time, etc.). The water-bath treatment plays a key role in the formation of thin hexagonal Ca(OH)2 nanoplates, favoring subsequent conversion to ultralong nanowires with a high aspect ratio. The as-obtained Ca2B2O5·H2O:5.0%RE3+ (rare earth, RE = Eu, Tb) nanophosphors exhibit strong photoluminescence emission and excitation performance, with corresponding Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage (CIE) values determined as (0.635, 0.364) and (0.320, 0.597) within the red and green regions, respectively. This not only suggests that the ultralong Ca2B2O5·H2O nanowires are promising structure- and function-integrated photoluminescent host candidates, but also provides a novel and facile route for the formation of high aspect ratio 1D nanostructures of other metal borates.