Transition metal silicide surface grafting by multiple functional groups and green optimization by mechanochemistry†
Chromium disilicide (CrSi2) particles were synthesized by using an arc melting furnace followed by mechanical milling. XRD and DLS analyses show that aggregates of around 3 μm containing about 10 nm sized crystallites were obtained. These aggregates were functionalized in solution by coupling agents with different anchoring groups (silane, phosphonic acid, alkene and thiol) in order to disperse them into an organic polymer. Dodecene was used to modify the CrSi2 surface during mechano-synthesis in a grinding bowl with quite little solvent quantity and the optimization step allowed the aggregate size to be reduced to 500 nm. A thermoelectric composite was then made of alkene CrSi2 grafted samples and poly(p-phénylène-2,6-benzobisoxazole). This study opens the route for new surface grafting of intermetallic silicides for applications linked to electronics and/or energy.