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Issue 42, 2008
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Controlled synthesis of rare earth nanostructures

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Rare earth compounds form a large family of functional materials with diverse applications in electric, magnetic, optical, and catalytic fields, originating from their unique 4f electrons. Rare earth nanocrystals stir significant interest with their special properties, such as reliable optical applications and enhanced catalytic performances, allowing them to serve as building blocks to construct functional assemblies. In this feature article, we highlight recent works on controlled synthesis of rare earth nanostructures through solution-based routes such as hydrothermal/solvothermal methods and precipitation in high-boiling solvents. Various rare earth nanostructures are obtained both by rationally utilizing intrinsic crystal structures and by fine tuning of experimental conditions, such as temperature, acidity, and capping agents. The controlled phase, crystal growth process, and post-treatment are briefly discussed with typical examples. Rare earth nanocrystals exhibit a variety of shapes and thus are of great benefit for the construction of nanocrystal superlattices. Through the simulation of coarse-grained molecular dynamics, the nanocrystals superstructures are also modelled.

Graphical abstract: Controlled synthesis of rare earth nanostructures

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Jun 2008, accepted on 13 Aug 2008 and first published on 29 Sep 2008

Article type: Feature Article
DOI: 10.1039/B810586C
Citation: J. Mater. Chem., 2008,18, 5046-5059
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    Controlled synthesis of rare earth nanostructures

    Z. Yan and C. Yan, J. Mater. Chem., 2008, 18, 5046
    DOI: 10.1039/B810586C

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