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Issue 9, 2012
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Phase and shape controlled VO2nanostructures by antimony doping

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Quasi-spherical VO2 nanoparticles with uniform size and high crystallinity are ideal functional materials for applications in field-effect transistors, smart window coatings and switches. However, the synthesis of these VO2 nanoparticles has long been a challenge. This article presents a novel doping strategy for the simultaneous control of the size, morphology and polymorphology of VO2 nanoparticles. Doping can induce the change in crystal structure and exhibits a significant promoting effect on the formation of doped monoclinic VO2 (VO2 (M)). Specifically, by antimony (Sb3+) doping, hexagonal-shaped, well crystalline monoclinic VO2 nanoparticles with tunable sizes (8–30 nm) and controllable polymorphs were synthesized via a one-pot, hydrothermal method. Sb3+ dopants, which are larger in radius and lower in valence than V4+ ions, can introduce extra oxygen vacancies during the nucleation and growth of VO2 nanoparticles. These positively charged nuclei may suppress the adsorption of VO2+ aqua ions, and therefore inhibit the growth of the VO2 (M) nanoparticles. Comparably, Sb5+ dopants that possess higher valence counts than V4+ ions can induce the growth of VO2 (M) particles to 200–300 nm width and above 500 nm length. The Sb3+-doped VO2 (M) nanoparticles exhibit excellent properties in metal–semiconductor transformation at transition temperatures ranging from 55–68 °C. Films obtained by casting these nanoparticles show excellent optical properties (both visible transmittance and infrared regulation), compared with those prepared from gas phases, such as sputtering. This synthetic strategy that involves the doping of an element with a different valence count than the matrix cation may be useful for controlling the solution growth of some technologically significant nanomaterials. In addition, the formation mechanism of solid and crystalline transformation was also studied by designing a specific reaction autoclave.

Graphical abstract: Phase and shape controlled VO2 nanostructures by antimony doping

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Article information

21 May 2012
10 Jul 2012
First published
11 Jul 2012

Energy Environ. Sci., 2012,5, 8708-8715
Article type

Phase and shape controlled VO2 nanostructures by antimony doping

Y. Gao, C. Cao, L. Dai, H. Luo, M. Kanehira, Y. Ding and Z. L. Wang, Energy Environ. Sci., 2012, 5, 8708
DOI: 10.1039/C2EE22290F

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