American Chemical Society
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Heating-Induced Transformation of Anatase TiO2 Nanorods into Rock-Salt TiO Nanoparticles: Implications for Photocatalytic and Gas-Sensing Applications

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-01-07, 21:35 authored by Xiaodan Chen, Seyed Naveed Hosseini, Marijn A. van Huis
Anatase TiO2 nanocrystals (NCs) play a vital role in photocatalytic applications due to their high catalytic activity and in gas-sensing applications due to their high chemical sensitivity. Here, we report the transformation at elevated temperature of anatase nanorods (NRs) with a length of 25 nm into rock-salt TiO nanoparticles with an average size of 9.2 ± 2.1 nm investigated by means of in situ heating in the transmission electron microscope. The NRs were completely transformed to titanium monoxide NCs after heating to a temperature of 1200 °C. We also identified an intermediate stage in the temperature range of 950–1200 °C, during which not only the anatase and rock-salt phases were found but also the brookite phase. Understanding of the phase and morphology evolution at high temperatures is of essence to the functionality of the NRs in various applications, as discussed in this work. Moreover, the high-temperature transformation to titanium monoxide is of interest as rock-salt TiO (γ-TiO) is known to exhibit superconducting properties. We propose the heating-induced transformation as a physical route to synthesize TiO NCs of very small size.