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Intense Femtosecond Laser-Mediated Electrical Discharge Enables Preparation of Amorphous Nickel Phosphide Nanoparticles

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journal contribution
posted on 29.04.2018, 00:00 by Zhuo-Chen Ma, Qi-Dai Chen, Bing Han, He-Long Li, Lei Wang, Yong-Lai Zhang, Hong-Bo Sun
Reported here is a high-efficiency preparation method of amorphous nickel phosphide (Ni–P) nanoparticles by intense femtosecond laser irradiation of nickel sulfate and sodium hypophosphite aqueous solution. The underlying mechanism of the laser-assisted preparation was discussed in terms of the breaking of chemical bond in reactants via highly intense electric field discharge generated by the intense femtosecond laser. The morphology and size of the nanoparticles can be tuned by varying the reaction parameters such as ion concentration, ion molar ratio, laser power, and irradiation time. X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy results demonstrated that the nanoparticles were amorphous. Finally, the thermogravimetric-differential thermal analysis experiment verified that the as-synthesized noncrystalline Ni–P nanoparticles had an excellent catalytic capability toward thermal decomposition of ammonium perchlorate. This strategy of laser-mediated electrical discharge under such an extremely intense field may create new opportunities for the decomposition of molecules or chemical bonds that could further facilitate the recombination of new atoms or chemical groups, thus bringing about new possibilities for chemical reaction initiation and nanomaterial synthesis that may not be realized under normal conditions.