Texture and nanostructure of chromia aerogels prepared by urea-assisted homogeneous precipitation and low-temperature supercritical drying

M. Abecassis-Wolfovich, H. Rotter, M. V. Landau, E. Korin, A. I. Erenburg, D. Mogilyansky, E. Gartstein

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44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mesoporous chromia aerogels with a surface area of 484-735 m2 g-1, a pore volume of 0.4-0.9 cm3 g-1 and a pore diameter of 3-9 nm were prepared by urea-assisted homogeneous precipitation from an aqueous Cr(NO3)3 solution, followed by continuous supercritical extraction with CO2 under different conditions (pressure and time) after replacement of the water with a hexane/2-butanol mixture. The texture and chemistry of the aerogels transformed by heating in air or an inert atmosphere and the structure of the nanoparticles were characterized by means of N2-adsorption isotherms, AA, HRTEM, FTIR, a variety of thermoanalytical methods (TPD, DSC, TGA, TPO-TPK) and X-ray diffraction in combination with structure modeling. At the CO2 extraction stage, a pressure of about 400 bars was critical for production of aerogels with surface areas >700 m2 g-1. The fresh chromia aerogels consisted of closely packed almost globular, 3- to 5-nm nanoparticles with a structure analogous to that of monoclinic α-CrOOH, in which half of the O atoms and OH groups were replaced with coordinately bonded water molecules. After dehydration at 550-600 K, the materials retained their texture, being converted to faceted 3- to 5-nm nanoparticles, consisting of two-dimensional fragments (clusters) of α-CrOOH crystals built on [Cr(OH)3O3] octahedra without bonding along the Z-axis. The texture of dehydrated chromia aerogels was stable at temperatures up to 650 K in air and up to 773 K in an inert atmosphere. At higher temperatures, the material underwent a glow transition, yielding microcrystalline 50-nm particles with the well-defined structure of α-Cr2O3 and a surface area <200 m2 g-1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-111
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Non-Crystalline Solids
Volume318
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry

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