Thermally stable blue nonstoichiometric nanoceria was produced by feeding nanoceria with an average size of 50 nm into a DC thermal plasma reactor. The effects of different plasma power levels and atmospheres were investigated. XRD results showed the ceria lattice parameter increased with plasma power. SEM and TEM results showed that the shape of nanoparticles changed after plasma treatment; the blue nonstoichiometric nanoceria had highly regular shapes such as triangular pyramids and polyhedral in contrast to the irregular shape of the raw nanoceria. Significant downshift was found in the Raman spectra of the plasma products, with a 7.9-cm−1 shift compared with raw nanoceria, which was explained by the reduction of Ce4+. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy results showed that the Ce3+ fraction increased from 14% in the raw nanoceria to 38–39% for the product CeO2-x , indicating the high reduction state on the ceria surface. It was determined that this blue nonstoichiometric nanoceria was stable up to 400 °C in air, but the color changed to pale yellow after 4 h at 500 °C in air indicating oxidation to CeO2. Additionally, this novel stable nano-CeO2-x caused a red shift in the UV-visible absorption results; a 48-nm red shift occurred for the nonstoichiometric nanoceria produced at 15 kW compared with the raw nanoceria. The band gap was calculated to be 2.5 eV while it was 3.2 eV for the raw nanoceria, indicating that this novel stable blue nonstoichiometric nanoceria should be a promising material for optical application.
Journal of Nanoparticle Research – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 8, 2017
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