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Faculty of Biology, Chemistry & Earth Sciences

Physical Chemistry IV: Professor Dr. Anna Schenk

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Size-controlled liquid phase synthesis of colloidally stable cobalt oxide nanoparticles

04th July 2023

CoOx NPs

Our work on the liquid-phase synthesis of Co3O4 nanoparticles with controlled size and shape has been published in the journal Nanoscale Advances. Big congratulations to first author Johannes Kießling!

Spinel cobalt(II,III) oxide (Co3O4) represents a p-type semiconductor exhibiting promising functional properties in view of applications in a broad range of technological fields including magnetic materials and gas sensors as well as sustainable energy conversion systems based on photo- and electrocatalytic water splitting. Due to their high specific surface area, nanoparticle-based structures appear particularly promising for such applications. However, precise control over the diameter and the particle size distribution is required to achieve reproducible size-dependent properties. We herein introduce a synthetic strategy based on the decomposition of hydroxide precursors for the size-controlled preparation of purified Co3O4 nanoparticles with narrow size distributions adjustable in the range between 3–13 nm. The particles exhibit excellent colloidal stability. Their dispersibility in diverse organic solvents further facilitates processing (i.e. ligand exchange) and opens exciting perspectives for controlled self-assembly of the largely isometric primary particles into mesoscale structures. In view of potential applications, functional properties including absorption characteristics and electrocatalytic activity were probed by UV-Vis spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry, respectively. In these experiments, low amounts of dispersed Co3O4 particles demonstrate strong light absorbance across the entire visible range and immobilized nanoparticles exhibit a comparably low overpotential towards the oxygen evolution reaction in electrocatalytic water splitting.

Find more information on this project here.

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