Considerable effort has been made to develop unique methods of preparing and characterizing nanoparticles and nanocomposites in order to exploit the true potential of nanotechnology. We used a facile, versatile phase-transition method for forming Group 6A nanoparticles on carbonaceous templates to produce homogeneous 5-10 nm diameter Group 6A nanoparticles on carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and reduced graphene oxide (RGO), to obtain nanocomposites. The method involved melting and recrystallizing mixtures of elemental sulfur and either CNTs or RGO on carbonaceous templates. The surface tension and hydrophilicity of the molten Group 6A species surfaces and the oxygen functional groups on the carbonaceous template surfaces were considered in depth to provide important guidelines for forming Group 6A nanoparticles on carbonaceous templates. The surface tension of the molten Group 6A species should be intrinsically low, leading to effective wetting on the carbonaceous template. In addition, the molten Group 6A species hydrophilic surfaces were essential for enabling hydrophilic-hydrophilic interaction for selective wetting at the oxygen functional groups on the carbonaceous template, leading to the heterogeneous nucleation of nanoparticles. Furthermore, the size and morphology (isolated vs layer-like) of the Group 6A nanoparticles were tuned by adjusting the oxidation state of the carbonaceous template. We investigated the potential application of the nanocomposites prepared using this method to cathode materials in lithium-sulfur secondary batteries.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)