Electron beam-induced morphology transformations of Fe2TiO5 nanoparticles
Iron(III) titanium oxide, Fe2TiO5, attracts growing interest as a promising candidate for solar-energy and electrochemistry applications. In this paper, we studied the effects of electron-beam irradiation on the morphology and microstructure of Fe2TiO5 nanoparticles (NPs) produced by a solvothermal method, with or without addition of polyvinyl-pyrrolidone (PVP). For the Fe2TiO5 NPs produced without adding PVP, their structure and morphology show no obvious changes under the electron beam irradiation. However, for the Fe2TiO5 NPs produced with PVP, they undergo three distinct morphology evolution stages under the electron beam irradiation, namely, layer exfoliation, local pulverization, and amorphization. The different behaviors are attributed to the fact that PVP can generate oxygen vacancies in Fe2TiO5. The thermal effect and knock-on collision caused by the electron beam play a dominant role in the morphological changes of Fe2TiO5 NPs produced with PVP. Our results provide insights into morphology evolution of polymetallic oxides under the electron beam irradiation.